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Neil Jay Christopher

Head Designer, Pattern Cutter and Design Manager, Fabric dev

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  • LevelSenior
  • LocationLondon, United Kingdom
  • AvailabilityLocked Pro Plan feature
  • ProfessionsHead OF Design - Pattern Cutter

About me

n.christopher@arnmercantile.com Developed fabrics ranging from light jersey, denims and cottons to super heavy weight Melton’s and tweeds as well as Ventile and Macintosh rubberized cloths. I, also, spent a few years in Japan working on cotton and woven based collections with weights between 3oz and 18oz silks mommes 12-28, Developed new cutting/design/cloth ideals as well as researching vintage pattern process and developing heritage cloths for projects in the German, US and Japanese markets with the focus on modern body shapes and fit. This is a follow on from PKH and KATO’ historical construction of patterns, garments and cloths Worked and lived in the US and Japan, Building collections for Massimo Osti , Bonneville and archine project (GDI) (UK & Italy), Carhartt work-wear (USA, Germany &UK) Levi, Lee (Sun Capital), Manufactum, (Germany), May Trading (UK and China), Kato (Japan) Nike, Adidas, C&A(Germany). Building style and garment archives for ARN, Nigel Cabourn, ASOS and Carhartt. SKILLS PROFILE Garment Technologist • Fit focus design/cutting, shape development to work across markets • Fully trained Tailor, toiles and sample garments, compete process for fabric, pattern, fit and production from scratch (sketch to garment process) • Control the buying/marketing and press budgets and stock control systems • Built, Within Kato/ARN a ‘shape studio’ working on cloths and movement focused on denims and heavy cottons, as well as lighter cloths for the women’s range • 25 years + Pattern cutting and Product/Fit development, only non-Japanese Patter Maker and tech in the Osaka garment triangle. Fabric Development • Built heritage mixed woven and cotton cloths within the Japanese and US weaving industry • Exceeded the ‘green’ licenses requirements, both US and Japan, established improved process controls for ‘GL’ • Introduced Eco corozo product to Market, reduced cost by factor of 10 and shorten production time line • 25 + Years Fabric Sourcing and development (EU, USA and Japan) working with both Lab and weaves. Design • ARN mercantile, developed concepts and shapes (work-wear/denim, heritage, soft tailoring) 18+ seasons • Kato AAA, high end Okayama Denim range base with cotton and soft fabrics 7 season, plus ARN/AAA tool project co-lab, on going • PKH, vintage and denim, built blocks of a large collection and ran all production on 20 line 100’s of styles • Managed a 20+ team design office in Japan and 30+ USA and UK

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Work history

Currently

Head Designer, Pattern Cutter and Design Manager

ARN mercantile

Jun 2004
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Head Designer, Pattern Cutter and Design Manager, Fabric development. ARN Mercantile June/2004 — to date, London, UK ARN Mercantile is a small design/tailoring lead agency/brand, developing ‘own brands’ for outside clients The focused is on green business, 3D cutting, fit and developing a product aimed towards a mid-range fashion buyer, both men’s and women’s . ARN is a continuation of the ‘Tool Project’ we originally started at Kato, the wearing being part of the process, fit and movement are key elements, we reworked all our co-labs and production to improve fit. As well as own label, we worked with large companies Designing /developing product, cutting patterns and garments for Levis(main line and heritage), Ships, JS Homestead, Nigel Cabourn, Massimo Osti (Bonneville and archive), Kato, Outer limits.... etc. The business is mainly aimed at the Asia markets with America being a secondary market. Duties included: • Built the business from ground up, one of the first total ECO brands in the Japanese market • Taking sketch to finished garment, making toile pieces and body adjustment. Working with sample production and full scale wholesale production (local and off shore) • Direct productions method, to decrease time loss in production, thus increasing profit margin • Matching the fabrics and trims to the process, developing new cloths/denims • Working with weavers to build new processes to enable ‘eco’ standards to be exceeded. • Cutting/designing a range of 80+ garment per season, cutting by hand the patterns and developing grades both by hand and with Gerber systems. • Built a collection for Manufactum, 7 seasons running alongside woven collections Consultancy work: ASOS, 10/16-7/17 Building B&T, fitting and re block total menswear, pattern librarian, Sportswear and Tailoring development, co-lab with branded and outlet, over saw the transition from old to new blocks and building grades. ECO brand and working within the GT Team, fit school professor Derek Rose: 11/15-05/16, Tailoring, shaping and re-cutting new and old garments/patterns both men’s and women’s to produce a modern fit and opened a shirting and coating arm to the existing brand, overhaul the production office and own label factory, build a better core for the ongoing external production and modernize paperwork and paper systems. Working with Design team and sales to develop a clearer brand story, DR is a silk, Jersey and light weight woven based business, 12-22 mommes and 75-125 gsm cloths Nigel Cabourn: 2011 – to date , Collaborations on Heritage and Tailoring collections working within trousers, shirting and bottoms and outwear development/tailoring/shape/design, to re-focus the brand over all on fit, function, form and fabric. The main work was in woman’s tailoring working on light weight cloths to build a coherent collection story that would overflow into the men’s Gloverall: 1955 project, January 2016 –July 2016 River Island: Internal denim (4-10 oz) and woven project, building a 35 piece collection to combine street aspirations and tailoring with a price focused product and external production values. 2015 Top shop/Top man: Eco/green collaboration with overseas group stores, developed with a focus on Japanese market, mixing ‘London’ and ‘Tokyo’ street styles to extend the garments and profile into new markets. 2014-2015

2004

Brand Developer, Lead Designer and Production Manager

Kato

Nov 2002 - Jun 2004
  • Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
  • Full Time
  • Kato’ is a cross gender denim company based in Kyoto, as well as own label we worked with RRL, Polo, Denimes, 45RPM…etc., building denims and cotton collection with their in-house teams. Based in London and Kyoto, split with time between the Kyoto Office and London Showroom, Bomber/Airport was bought by Kato EU ltd in December 2001. Kato’s main business was denim with own label and developing and building ranges for main stores ( Beams, Jet Blue, Ships, JS, Isatan, F&E, RRL) as well as fabric development, at Kato we’re VERY hands on I’ve been working closely with the weavers in developing new fabrics and processes. Duties included • Designed Export collections and Production/Development, including fabric, trims & styling and sales samples and the finished product runs. • Re blocked for fit focused shapes, across the ranges (US, Japan and EU) • Rebuilding light weight woven cloths, cottons and fabric supply template to reduce time and costs • Thorough understanding of the pre-production and in line production cycles including time & action calendars, drop dead dates and factory scheduling, allocation & costing’s. • Pattern development and sample cutting (working on Gerber and a Japanese system)

2002

Project and Brand development, Design Manager

B/A

Jul 1997 - Nov 2002
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • B/A Was a small Independent clothing consultancy, working with Levi (main line), Nike (design pod), Denimes, Adidas, 45RPM, Boxfresh, Carhartt, Kato (EU) and Oki-Ni. Building and Designing small niche collections for larger brands, we would bring together collaborations between designers and large brands, building ‘pop up’ and ‘gypsy’ stores and press events. Projects included Levi/Oki-Ni, Nike woven, Nike Gold book, Adidas/Oki-Ni, Chinch/Arcuate/Selvedge stores plus internal projects with Nike, Levi, 4M and Oki-Ni Main duties • Design and concept Development • Production of all non-footwear • Colour consulting on all projects