top of page

How to become a creative director every Merchandiser wants to work with?
A Special Interview with Apple Zheng, Creative Director at Wuman Textile

How to become a creative director every Merchandiser wants to work with?
A Special Interview with Apple Zheng, Creative Director at Wuman Textile

How to become a creative director every Merchandiser wants to work with?

How to become a creative director every Merchandiser wants to work with?

Wuman Textile


A Special Interview with Apple Zheng, Creative Director at Wuman Textile

Today we want to talk about our brand slogan: ‘’On-trend Fabrics for your Creations’’. How did creativity spark in Wuman Textile in the first place? In this exclusive interview, you will learn about the basic responsibilities of Wuman Textiles's creative director, Apple, as well as her gains and reflections.


1. What kind of role does the creative director play in Wuman? What is a Creative Director in Fabrics Company like Wuman?


Apple: The main focus of this role is to keep up with fashion trends. Through its own sensitivity and execution, Creative Director works closely with designers to initiate sample selection, design, and marketing of fabrics, and present final creative solutions to clients of the brand.


Some of the responsibilities of a Creative Director include:

  • Presenting creatives and fabric products to clients

  • Approve or reject the designer's design or sample selection plan

  • Communicate creative ideas to the marketing team and determine the key points of communication

  • Develop a design scheme based on the client's budget and time requirements



2. What qualities do you think a good creative director should have? What makes a good Creative Director?


Apple: I think first and foremost is the passion for what one does. This passion comes from the firm belief in the mission of the company to link brands and high-quality fabrics, and from the passion for fashion and creative work. Also, the following points:


  • Imagination - He/She has new and continuous inspirations and ideas that can be implemented from life and life experience.

  • Market Insights/Knowledge - One needs to have comprehensive understanding of downstream customer needs, competitors, suppliers and factories, as well as knowing where their ideas and products are located.

  • Experience - I had many years of industry experience behind in different positions, which can help me understand the connotation and extension of work from all aspects.

  • Understand design and design skills - Although you don't design by yourself, you need to be able to understand the designer's creative source and the full design path, to stimulate the designer's creativity and effectively manage the creative process.

  • Be patient and resilient - Not all creative processes are smooth sailing, one needs to understand that it is common for a proposal to be rejected by a client, in which case one should stay resilient.


Overall, I think the creative director is a role that requires both passion and patience, instant insight and years of experience, which is not always an easy task.



3. In the process of serving as creative director, what difficulties did you encounter? What obstacles have you encountered?


Apple: When we try something new, the market usually doesn't respond at first. We will usually wait for rivals to try it first. A equation of fast fashion is that Fashion=Level of Exposure. When a product is continuously shown to customers, customers will feel that it is more popular, so maybe they should try it themselves. This "maybe try" mentality has led to more and more serious homogenization competition of product ideas. It is relatively difficult to accept new ideas to customers, and no one wants to be a daredevil.


Another reason is that once the market recognizes it, it is easy to be imitated immediately. Because the threshold for textile products to be imitated is relatively low, not everyone is willing to spend a lot of money to develop them. Because competitors do not need to invest in the development cost in the early stage, it will be over if they go to copy immediately, which leads to very low interest in development. So we need to do a little "sacrifice" for what we do.


However, I think it's important to stick to what you think is right, including things that lead the way and fit the market, including investing in pre-development and design, and doing original things. Because we believe that this is a necessary condition for a company to maintain a first-mover advantage, and it is also the responsibility of a creative director.



4. What is the most fulfilling situation for you? What is your triumph moment?


Apple: A few years ago, when sandwich scuba was not yet popular, my partner and I saw this future trend on the show floor. We were very interested, and immediately decided to start developing it. I remember spending a lot of design fees and more than five months to try it.


Because of the particularity of the fabric structure, there are various problems, such as the feeling of the interlayer being squashed, there is no sandwich effect, and the gram weight is not uniform, or there are wrinkles on the cloth surface and so on. After more than ten times of repeated product design and proofing, we finally designed a style that appealed to customers. Later, our product became the top sales list of our company that year and we promoted the popularity of this product in the market.


After our inital success, through the electronic trend books and digital forms such as social media, we continued to promote the scuba fabrics designed by Wuman Textile, and continued to reach more and more potential customers. It gets our viewers and followers to keep thinking about a "Scuba fabric from Wuman Textile’’ as a signature product  and continue to re-purchase from us. I think this is a success, from creativity to products and communication, and it is a highlight of our overall operation in recent years!



5. What advice do you have for latecomers who want to join the fabric creative industry? What are the best practices to become a creative director?


Apple: As already mentioned, this is a career direction that requires high balance and comprehensiveness. If I have any suggestions, I would like to say three sentences:


  • As the Chinese saying goes, If the client abuses you a thousand of times, you still treat him like your first love. Handle every project like it’s your first. If we don’t always keep fresh mentality, it will be difficult to maintain a good state of going all out for whatever project we do.

  • Communication skills are the key to success. They are not only required to deal with customers, but also by internal designer teams, marketing teams, production and sales teams to accurately convey ideas, so that the internal focus on how to realize the perfect idea you want is very important. I have always believed that good ideas are half inspiration and half communication.

  • Always stay on-site and be sensitive to the environment, such as paying more attention to fashion trends, attending fashion weeks, shows, visiting clients, etc. Nowadays the boundaries between online and offline are very blurred. You don’t have to run all over the country. You can experience the cutting-edge things in the fashion industry for the first time by signing up for online events, Zoom meetings and other mixed forms. Following and predicting  the real needs of customers and their plans for the future is much better than constantly copying others or repeating themselves.

☞  Want to connect with Apple on LinkedIn?   Here is the link

錨點 1
bottom of page