What does a fashion collection manager do?

woman in white blazer and white pants standing beside white table

An insider’s view of a job: Are there hidden perks or is it as exciting as it appears? How do you find a job that requires these skills? Floor van Eekeren is the collection manager at Jan Taminiau in Holland, which sells ready-to-wear and bridal. We spoke with her as part of our ongoing series “Work in Fashion”.

How did you land this job?

I attended the TMO Fashion Business School, Doorn, Netherlands. Jan Taminiau was my internship choice. As an intern at the office, and as a volunteer at events, I began my time there. My internship was in the execution of The Attic’s fashion show. It was my first fashion show, which was a truly memorable experience.

I wanted as much as possible from my time at Taminiau. I also visited other colleagues. The couture developer, who helps the designer make his creations a reality. She decided to change careers three years ago and I took over her job.

woman in white blazer and white pants standing beside white table

Do you have a soft spot in fashion?

I was thirteen when I first saw the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition by a Dutch designer. It really impressed me. Her creations were an art form in and of themselves. Because I was curious about the process of creating such a creation, I knew that I wanted to make something out of it. My grandfather also works with fabrics through his own agency. He took me to Paris fabric fairs and told me stories about fashion. He is now over 80, but still has a lot to offer. It’s a lot fun to have a job in fashion, in a couture house.

What is a typical day for a collection manager?

I begin by answering emails. Jan Taminiau also produces overseas. I handle the contact with our workshops and suppliers in Spain and the Netherlands, and I keep in touch with India, France, and Italy. The work week is varied. All the looks within a collection may be discussed. Jan (Taminiau), the director of the studio, and I then sit down and talk about how Jan sees the collection. My job is to brief all teams so that they can follow Jan’s ideas. I am a spider in the web.

The budgets for shows and collections are another task. Throughout the creation of the collection, I am also responsible for that. As well as helping to set up exhibitions, I am often abroad to visit studios or talk with the teams. My work is varied and takes place all day, but it’s also very challenging.

What are the skills required to become a collection manager?

Although it is not a skill, I believe it is important to be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Communication, in both words and pictures, is another essential skill. It’s crucial to communicate with the studios clearly about the look you want. This is an organic process where every link is crucial and must be run smoothly. It is important to work in a team. This requires skills such as reading a pattern or a sketch. Jan must be able to see how he imagines embroidery when he draws it.

Which part of the job is most challenging?

Communicating is both the most important and the hardest thing. Our international brand operates in many countries and brings with it many cultures. The Dutch are very direct, which can make it intimidating for people from other countries. It’s great to meet so many cultures and people. It’s a pleasure to be involved in the creation of something beautiful and to think about details every day. Jan Taminiau is a young and well-organized team who are eager to get to work. This makes the job exciting.

What are the most memorable moments from the past 3.5 years of your job?

Here’s a moment from my internship during The Attic’s fashion show. I was astonished when Sherry Dyanne sang the song “Feeling good” during the finale. It was something I’d never seen before. It was also a great experience to travel to Madrid to set up the Taminiau ready to wear collection a year ago. In those days, I traveled to Spain each week to meet the teams. I was energized by the variety of teams.

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