Timberland’s designer for men’s knits, sweaters and sweats enjoys the benefits of working at a brand.
I’m not the best morning person, I’m more nocturnal. My alarm goes off every morning at 7am, except for the days when I do a morning gym session, when I get up just before 6am. But I still don’t feel human until I’ve had a cup of tea. Then I jump in the shower and get ready. We don’t really have a dress code here, but I have quite a relaxed style. I’ll often wear Timberland’s men’s shirts, which are really nice and slouchy, and girly shorts. I love Timberland shoes as well.
I catch a direct train from Streatham station to Farringdon. The journey takes 20 minutes and I use that time to read on my Kindle and not think about anything else.
When I get to work I check my emails and start my day with some porridge for breakfast. I’ve normally made a to-do list the evening before, so when I get to work I know exactly what I need to do that day before something else crops up - which it always does.
As Timberland’s menswear designer for knits, sweaters and sweats, researching fabrics is a massive part of my job and I liaise daily with factories in China, India and Hong Kong. Fabric is my first port of call when thinking about a collection, and colour is the second so I’ll liaise with my managers about that regularly. Every week we have fit meetings to check product sizing and make sure it fits our customer, and I also keep an eye on fashion blogs to make sure we’re up to date with current trends.
I really like the creative freedom I have here, and I was attracted to the company because of its ethical stance in regards to using sustainable materials. I came from a retail background having started at Next, which is a whole different ballgame. It was a really good grounding but it’s nice to work at a smaller business, which is more personal in its feeling.
The way of working is very different at a brand but I’ve managed to adapt. [At Next] I was on wovens and the formal side of menswear and it was a very different outlay, everything could be changed in an instant. Whereas when you work for a brand you don’t have that luxury, you have to have conviction from the start.
When it comes to lunch I’m very lazy and I have to eat out every day. I must go through Eat’s menu on a weekly basis. Then it’s straight back to work to make sure I’m on top of everything.
I studied a foundation art course at Gateway College in Leicester and was interested in becoming a photographer before realising I wanted to focus on fashion design. So I went to study Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University, focusing on womenswear. However, when I graduated the job at Next came up on menswear and I loved it from the word go. One of my proudest achievements is having worked on the shirting worn by Team GB while at Next. Knowing that they wore those shirts to their formal dos was a nice thought.
I tend to finish work at about 7.30pm, though it depends on the workload. In the evenings I like to chill out with friends and I love making food to help me wind down, and then I’m normally in bed by 11pm.
- Salaries for this position range from £30,000 to £40,000 plus benefits (estimate provided by Freedom Recruitment)
2011 Menswear designer, knits, sweaters, sweats, Timberland
2010 Assistant designer, men’s knitwear and swimwear, Next
2007 Trainee designer, Next
2003 Fashion Design BA Hons, Nottingham Trent University
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