A day in the life of a new designer
Meet Millie Yates. She was part of our 2017 summer internship cohort and was offered a Technical Designer role once the program ended. We were curious to know what her days usually look like so we asked her!
Name: I’m Millie Yates 🙂
Position: I’m a Technical Designer for the Dynamite banner and I work in the knits department. This is where we design all top styles with a stretch fabric—we’re the ones responsible for the tees, tanks, bodysuits and sweatshirts you see in stores. I began at Groupe Dynamite as a design intern this summer and I’m excited to be staying on with my team.
Technical Designer role in a nutshell: Life as a Technical Designer consists of a number of responsibilities, including updating line sheets, making approvals, conducting trend research, and creating technical packages. It’s a fun, fast-paced job that is both challenging and fulfilling.
Here’s a quick look into my day-to-day!
6:50 A.M.: I wake up most days around 6:50. From there, I get dressed, eat breakfast, and hop on the metro. I have a long commute to work so I always pack a book in my bag (right now I’m reading Zadie Smith’s Swing Time), or turn on a podcast (This American Life).
8:40 A.M.: I arrive at the office with just enough time to pick up an iced latte at our Atrium bistro and go straight to my desk. Once there, I organize my work, such as catching up on emails and putting away samples before things really get going. Oh! And if it’s before 9:00, you can catch me on Vogue.com!
9:00 A.M.: At the beginning of the day, I usually touch base with my junior and senior Designers to discuss the day ahead. We check our schedules and prioritize our to-do list to make sure we’re all on the same page. Then, we discuss fabric changes, styling changes, and upcoming style reviews.
10:00 A.M.: I usually have my knit “hub” meeting with Merchants, Designers and colleagues from the Import team. Here, we pull out our line sheets (booklets that organize our styles by month) and go over weekly changes. Restyling, dropped styles, and changing units are discussed at this time. As a newbie to Groupe Dynamite, these meetings are very important, as they offer insight into the work of each of my team members.
11:00 A.M.: Come 11:00, I begin my day-to-day tasks. During this time, I’m likely updating technical packages, a.k.a. tech packs. These are a tool used by Designers to convey necessary information about a style to our overseas suppliers. They contain information, like the fabric code and content, trim details (such as zippers, buttons, and rivets), and care tag labels. My “hub” is very busy and we can see up to 20 new styles a week.
12:00 P.M.: Between 12:00 and 12:30, I usually take a quick break to eat. I try to bring a packed lunch to work every day, but on days where I’m not so organized, I’ll pick up something in our Atrium. I usually sit with friends indoors or (when the weather is nice) on the Atrium’s rooftop terrace. On my way back to my desk, I pick up a second coffee (for the afternoon rush) from one of our baristas and head back to work.
1:00 P.M.: I head straight into approvals, one of my main responsibilities as a Technical Designer. The Import team passes me lab dips, bulk fabric approvals and trim approvals so that we can send comments to the supplier. A lab dip is a series of swatches a supplier will send for colour approval. We test out the swatches and pick the lab dip that best matches our colour palette.
3:00 P.M.: During the mid- to late afternoon, I have a variety of different tasks, like updating sketches of our styles to reflect fit changes, updating our line sheets to add styles to our assortment, or preparing for an upcoming sketch or style review. I spend most of my day on drawing, editing and designing. My favourite part of the afternoon is getting new samples passed to us from our Import team—seeing a sketch become a physical garment never gets old!
5:00 P.M.: I finish up my day between 5:00 and 5:30, then jump back on the metro and head to a restaurant to grab dinner with some friends or scout antique stores! After that, I get ready for the next day!