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!



From Intern to Designer

Marjorie St-Jean was part of Groupe Dynamite’s intern cohort in June 2016. Now, one year later, she works within the Dynamite team as a Technical Designer for the denim category.

This spring, Marjorie spoke with students at the recruitment cocktail about her experience at Groupe Dynamite, including some of the following highlights:

Q1: Can you briefly describe your academic background?

My academic career began with the Katimavik program, where I was able to travel and learn about different cultures, as well as learn my second language, English. Then, I studied Fashion Design with a masculine specialization at Cégep Marie-Victorin. In order to deepen my knowledge, I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Management at l’École supérieure de mode de Montréal.

Q2: How did you find yourself at Groupe Dynamite?

Following the presentation of the final collections from my university’s end-of-year projects, the recruitment Manager from Groupe Dynamite invited me to present my portfolio at one of the company’s recruitment cocktail events.  Following this event, I was accepted to the Design internship program!

Q3: What are the 3 highlights from your internship?

  • Stepping out of my comfort zone. During my internship, my mentor let me work independently. This allowed me to quickly learn the tasks that the Design team needed to complete in order to produce the expected results.
  • Realizing that my opinion counts! Groupe Dynamite values everyone’s input, no matter their hierarchical status. I was quickly encouraged to share my opinions and learnt to bring my ideas forward with confidence.
  • Participating in the company’s creation process. As Designers, we have a concrete influence on the creative process at Groupe Dynamite. It’s extremely inspiring!

Q4: What role do you currently occupy at Groupe Dynamite and what does it entail?

I’m currently a Technical Designer for the denim category at Dynamite. My role consists of assisting the Senior Designer in the steps leading up to the creation of different collections. I participate in researching different materials and washes in order to get the ball rolling in the creative process of new denim models. 

Q5: As a young grad, how do you feel supported at Groupe Dynamite? What opportunities does the company have to offer to the youngest generation?

We are surrounded by passionate mentors who include us in different projects.  This pushes us to want to learn more in order to gain more experience and to bring something new to the table.

Q6: What advice would you give a young grad who’d like to work at GD?

Go for it! It’s an extraordinary opportunity to gain and develop an exceptional array of knowledge in a company filled with passionate people who are open to new ideas.

Q7: In your opinion, what sets Groupe Dynamite apart from other retailers?

It’s a company that constantly wants to surpass itself, that takes risks and is very open. 


Mini Survey:

  1. The mentor or person who inspires you:My parents, without a doubt!
  2. Your favourite clothing item/accessory: Trench coat that I bought at Zara
  3. A place in Montreal where we’d run into you: Met gym
  4. Your style icon: Victoria Beckham
  5. Your favourite trend right now:Pink, pink everywhere!
  6. Your dream destination: Skellig Islands
  7. The word you use most often: Oh my god!
  8. In high school, you dreamt of becoming:A fashion designer
  9. To take your mind off of things, you… go for a run by the water
  10. Your guilty pleasure:Sewing

Click here to learn more about our Internship Program.