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RAJIV BAJAJ

DGM DESIGN - HEAD OF CLASSICS

PRÉCIS

A Highly Skilled & Creative Menswear Design Expert, with nearly a decade of Industry Experience across Premium Retail Brands, E-Commerce & Exports / Manufacturing. Wide ranging expertise in Design & Product Development across categories like Apparel, Accessories & Footwear. My biggest strength is translating trends into creative and commercial designs, which are appropriate for a brand’s target group. I have experience in all aspects of the Design Process, starting from research up to presenting the final product to the customers & everything in between. My curious nature and passion for traveling inspires me to create strong designs, while being part of a team but also as the team leader. Through my years of experience, I’ve also developed a critical eye and a strong sense of strategy, planning and pricing. I am looking to secure a foothold with a strong brand to bring immediate & long-term strategic value.

EXPERIENCE: 10 Yrs 6 Mths

March 2015Present

DGM - Design, Head of Classics

COLORPLUS FASHIONS LTD. Mumbai

Launched in 1993, ColorPlus has created a niche in the Men’s ready to wear market in India by pioneering smart casual clothing for men & changed the way he ever dressed.

 
The core of the Brand’s success has been its products with clear focus on COLOR, COMFORT & CRAFTSMANSHIP. Its innovations include Wrinkle Free Chinos, Wrinkle Free Linen, Stain Free Shirts & many more such product enhancements. ColorPlus today is a complete lifestyle brand complementing every facet of a man’s personality, be it at work, leisure or those special moments giving every reason to be the preferred brand to the up market, trend-savvy, sophisticated & discerning Indian man.

Complete responsibility for the Design Strategy & Concept Creation for the Brand’s entire Classic Line in line with Market Trends, Buyer Behavior & Brand's DNA.

  • Leading the creative Inspiration, Innovation, Fabrics & Collection Development with an 8 member team & handling worth 92% of ColorPlus overall business.
  • Improving & constantly re-checking the Brand’s Design Strategy in line with keeping the legacy alive while still infusing the new spirit through new Lines & Fits.
  • Analyzing category strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats viz.–a-viz. competition & assessing new opportunities.
  • Product Research through travel to International & National apparel, fashion and textile trade fairs such as CHIC, PITTI UOMO to explore and identify new ideas, trends and products.
  • Expertise in handling both Woven { Casual & Formal Shirts, Shorts, Chinos, Formal Trousers, Casual ( Garment Dyed Cottons, Quilted, Nylon & Leather ) & Structured Jackets etc } & Knits { Circulars ( Chest Prints, Polo & Henley ) & Flats ( Cotton & Wool ) }.
  • Research and Collaborate with national & international fabric mills/vendors to stay on top of fabric trends to develop new fabric and techniques in both woven & knits categories.
  • Playing a vital role in price negotiations with vendors & overseeing merchandise adherence to quality norms to increase the product sell through & achieving a lower return rates.
  • Partial responsibility for achieving the MF along with Sourcing & Planning.
  • To ensure that Open-to-Buy (OTB) and Supply is managed in line with forecasts and planned delivery requirements.
  • Range Planning, Forecasting, Trend Spotting & Determining the Merchandise Mix.
  • Briefing & Directing the team on category plans for the season.
  • Season’s specific Color & Silhouette planning.
  • Fabric selection & Development as per seasonal needs.
  • Development of prints, embroideries and labels, metal trims, tags, packaging concepts etc.
  • Continuous FIT STUDY & REVIEW.
  • Relegating the complete seasonal range to the sourcing department as per the timeline and overseeing production.
  • Key role in casting & styling of models for the website during the monthly photo shoots / ad campaigns.
  • Mentoring manage the job profile's of the team as per their responsibilities.
Aug 2011 Feb 2015

Assistant Vice President / Head Product Design & Development – Menswear – Apparel & Accessories

ZOVI.COM, Robemall Apparels Pvt. Ltd. Gurgaon

A lifestyle brand which is exclusively available online. It brings premium apparel & accessories designed with top-notch components across men, women & Kids categories. By not having to deal with the inefficiencies that exist in an offline retail environment and by leveraging the reach of the internet, it aims to bring a unique perspective to apparel shopping in India.

Spearheading the overall Design, Product Development & Buying of ZOVI’s Menswear in line with market trends, buyer behavior & brand's USP of offering a strong PRODUCT / PRICE proposition.

  • Leading an 8 member team ( 4 Designers, 3 Graphic Designer & 1 Product Developer ) & handling worth 78% of ZOVI's overall business.
  • Complete line development right from concept to consumer for both APPAREL & ACCESSORIES.
  • Working in a startup environment & Developing Entrepreneurial Skills & aptitude to execute independently.
  • Expertise in handling both Woven { Casual & Formal Shirts, Shorts, Chinos, Cargoes, Formal Trousers, Casual ( Garment Dyed Cottons, Quilted, Nylon & Faux Leather ) & Structured Jackets etc } & Knits { Circulars ( Chest Prints, Polo & Henley ) & Flats ( Cotton & Wool ) } .
  • Strong passion for DENIMS, Working directly with denim factories in India & abroad ( Bangladesh, China & Jordan ) to design & develop new products, washes, trims / accessories & fits that comply with the targeted price points & brands target group.
  • Analyzing category strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats viz.–a-viz. competition & assessing new opportunities.
  • Developing a successful separate price sensitive product line called “ ZOVI EDGE “ to enhance visitor / conversion ratio.
  • Playing a vital role in price negotiations with vendors & overseeing merchandise adherence to quality norms to increase the product sell through & achieving a lower return rates.
  • Partial responsibility for achieving the MF along with sourcing & planning teams.
  • To ensure that Open-to-Buy (OTB) and supply is managed in line with forecasts and planned delivery requirements.
  • Range planning, forecasting, trend spotting & determining the merchandise mix.
  • Briefing & directing the team on category plans for the season.
  • Season’s specific color & silhouette planning.
  • Fabric selection & development as per seasonal needs.
  • Development of prints, embroideries and labels, metal trims, tags, packaging concepts etc.
  • Continuous FIT STUDY & REVIEW.
  • Relegating the complete seasonal range to the sourcing department as per the timeline and overseeing production.
  • Key role in casting & styling of models for the website during the monthly photo shoots / ad campaigns.
  • Mentoring manage the job profile's of the team as per their responsibilities.
  • Developing & managing effectively standard operating procedures for Licensees like MARVEL ( IRON MAN, SPIDER MAN, AVENGERS etc. ) & DISNEY to ensure a sizable revenue from character merchandising.
Jan 2011Aug 2011

Assistant Product Manager – Menswear – Apparel & Accessories

UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON, Gurgaon

Today, the Benetton Group is present in 120 countries around the world with its core business being fashion apparel. A group with a strong Italian character whose style, quality and passion are clearly seen in its brands.

Complete responsibility for Design & Product Development of BENETTON (INDIA INSERTIONS – APPAREL & ACCESSORIES) in line with Company Strategy, Global Trends and Buyer Behavior.

  • Evaluating and analyzing the BENETTON global offerings, finding gaps & creating plan for indigenous designs and offering.
  • Traveling to head office in ITALY (Ponzano Veneto) for the seasonal GLOBAL RANGE selection.
  • Product Research through travel to international and national apparel, fashion and textile trade fairs to explore and identify new ideas , trends and products.
  • Periodic market survey for identification of new fashion trends & seasonal line plan.
  • Competition market study, review, feedback and action plan for the same on regular intervals.
  • Trend interpretation and application; creation of mood boards.
  • Season’s specific color & silhouette planning.
  • Fabric selection & development as per seasonal needs.
  • Development of extremely intricate graphics & embroidery artworks, working closely with external freelance graphic designers.
  • Key role in PROTO FIT COMMENTS & FIT DEVELOPMENT.
  • Traveling to factories across India for development and execution of product.
  • Seasonal sample range presentation to buying / sales team & management.
  • Designing catalogues / range books for each season with specifications.
  • Complete Responsibility for VISUAL MERCHANDISING during the seasonal road shows.
  • Regular interaction with the franchisees to understand their requirements and hence build a product range around that to achieve better full price sales.
  • Creating new categories which are earlier not present in the system, but augment well with the nature of business and organization, hence increasing the company’s overall product portfolio and business.
Sep 2007Jan 2011

Senior Designer – Mens & Boys Apparel

SABS EXPORTS, Noida

Established in the year 1996, SABS EXPORTS is reckoned as one of the premium ready made garments manufacturer and exporter offering a wide and exclusive range of CIRCULAR  KNITS, FLAT KNITS and WOVEN garments for MEN & KIDS.

Complete responsibility for Product Design & Development, Presentations, Salesman Sampling & Managing Pre - Production Processes for SABS EXPORTS in line with Company Strategy, International Trends and Buyer Behavior.

  • Leading a team of 3 member team ( 2 Designers & 1 Product Developer ).
  • Handling independently prestigious Buyers like : Mc GREGOR, ESPRIT (Men, Women & Youth Boys), S.OLIVER, LA MARTINA, BRAX (Men & Women), MARCO POLO, KITARO, CAMPUS, SIGNUM, BUGATTI.
  • Analyzing trends by attending trade fairs, websites (WGSN), magazines (UOMO COLLEZIONI) & shopping.
  • Season’s specific color & silhouette planning & creation of trend / mood boards.
  • Creating sketches, technical development sheets & prototype monitoring.
  • Creating choice of fabrics, trimmings, finishes and washes as per Buyer needs.
  • Development of prints, embroideries and labels, metal trims, tags, packaging concepts etc.
  • Design development & competitive costing.
  • Liaising closely with respective buying houses and production teams to ensure the item complements other products.
  • Range presentation to international buyers & management.
  • Traveling abroad for buyer meeting & presentation.
Jan 2005Sep 2007

Assistant Designer cum Tech Pack Developer – Lifestyle Apparel & Accessories.

REEBOK INDIA COMPANY, Gurgaon

Reebok is an American-inspired, global brand that creates and markets sports and lifestyle products built upon a strong heritage. The brand is committed to designing products and marketing programs that reflect creativity and the desire to constantly challenge the status quo.

Joined the organization as a Trainee Designer but later on became a fundamental part of it as an assistant designer cum tech pack developer – Lifestyle Apparel & Accessories.

Assisting the Senior Designer in Product Conceptualization & Seasonal range development for LIFESTYLE ( Men / Women / Kids ) APPAREL & ACCESSORIES. Complete responsibility of tech pack creation & range hand over to production / sourcing team.

  • Product research (Sources used such as - Fashion Magazines namely – DONNA COLLEZIONI, & Internet websites such as WGSN.COM etc.)
  • Assisting the senior designer with season’s specific Color & Silhouette planning.
  • Key role in PROTO FIT COMMENTS & FIT DEVELOPMENT.
  • Utilizing illustration & technical know how into ARTWORK DEVELOPMENT.
  • Tech Pack development with comments for final production.
  • Complete Responsibility for VISUAL MERCHANDISING during the seasonal Road shows.
  • Visits to vendor factories across the country for sampling solutions, follow ups and approvals.
  • Preparing line catalogues with product details, style code and the USP of the garment for respective seasons.
  • Being well updated about Performance Fabrics, Play Dry, Play Shield, Play Warm, X- static & other such Technologies.
  • Careful development of the order sheets to meaningfully assist the customers during and post-trade show meetings.

Also handling special projects for FISH FRY (Special range in collaboration with designer MANISH ARORA) & complete kit (on field apparel, off field apparel, promotional apparel, caps, wrist bands, kit bags & other accessories) design of INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE (Chennai Super Kings).

Education

Jan 2002

C.B.S.E

Tagore International School, New Delhi

Skills

10
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR & PHOTOSHOP, COREL DRAW & PHOTOPAINT
8
MICROSOFT OFFICE