A day in the life of Mette Engelbrecht, Head of Design and Production at ARKK Copenhagen
Mette describes herself as someone with “A creative mind with good understanding for the commercial, but still exciting design”, and her extensive career in fashion proves it. As the Head of Design & Production at ARKK Copenhagen, she’s able to follow her passion for footwear and the possibility to develop something new and high-quality. When she’s not creating, she brightens up the industry with an infectious smile and endless enthusiasm.
Tell us more about your role as Head of Design & Production. What are your responsibilities?
As Head of Design & Production, I am responsible for everything in regards to our design and production process. That includes designing new products and developing new colorways and color cards for each collection. I manage the communication with the suppliers of the requested samples, making sure they get delivered in time. I send production comments to the suppliers, place orders, and check on confirmation, pre-production, and shipment samples. Monitoring deadlines and creating the calendar we are following for each collection as a team is a big part of my job. I need to ensure quality control in production and make sure we stick to the schedule.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?
I turn on my laptop, get a glass of water and start with my emails.
What does a normal day look like for the Head of Design & Production? Do you have a routine?
As I said, I always check my emails first. If there are too many, I screen them and see which ones are the most important. I will get back to the rest when I have more time. Then, I usually have a daily Skype call with our main suppliers in the morning, where I get updated on everything from development to production. The rest of the day depends on where we are in the process. If we are in the middle of developing a new collection, I will most likely go into creative mode: I turn off my notifications, close my inbox tab and focus on creating.
Samples are usually delivered in the afternoon. I will try to comment on the confirmation samples as soon as possible, as they are urgent. During the day, I make sure everything is on track by updating the data in Delogue, Spy, and our delivery plan.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
The creative process! Closing down the email and all administrative work and just focusing on developing new stuff.
What are the main challenges you face as Head of Design & Production?
I guess the classic production-related problems like quality issues and delayed production. It is also challenging to get started with new suppliers, as they need to understand how we work as a brand and how we prefer things to be.
What inspired you to take this career path?
I always wanted to have a creative career, and I knew I wanted to become a designer when I was quite young. In my first job, I worked with designing accessories, which I thought was quite exciting and also the reason why, later on, I decided to specialize in footwear design. I always liked being more practical and understanding the process of things, rather than learning only from books. Being Head of Design & Production allows me to have my hands in both the creative and technical part, which I find very stimulating.
What is one thing you would’ve liked to know before entering this career path?
In my younger years, I would have liked it if someone had told me that I should not stress so much about the constant deadlines you have in this industry – somehow, it always turns out okay in the end.
What is something you’re very proud of in your career?
I am very proud of how far I have come. I am glad to know that I got where I am by always following my heart and putting in hard work.
What is something you enjoy doing during your free time?
I like staying active, so I run and go to the gym. Other than that, I like going out for dinner and spending time with friends and family. Before Covid-19, traveling was a big part of my life. Hopefully, I’ll get back on a plane as soon as possible!