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My job PRODUCT MANAGER

Juan José López Prieto, head of the products department at Tejidos Royo, Première Vision Fabrics (6E28), and his favourite bale of cotton.

Knowing how to turn an idea or a philosophy into a product is probably the hardest thing to do in this job. There are three phases to it: research, development, analysis. But before you get to testing for handle, resistance, the colour effect, you have to hit the streets from London to Tokyo, you have to stay on top of the trends, surf social networks too. Turn-around times
are growing shorter and shorter, for more and more new ideas. The 25 people on my team divide up the work, from logistics to sending out small samples. The business has changed. Ten years ago, we sent out samples to clients. Now we have to show them a finished product – manufactured and washed. Each collection represents about 150 items, including 75% new pieces. And we’re injecting new products into the circuit all year round. The Product department is what drives the company. It’s an enormous responsibility. This job is fascinating, stressful, time-consuming and completely engrossing. But I love it. In fact I was born into this business, in Terassa, a little village that used to be the heartland of Spanish wool. And I am lucky enough to work in a company that emphasises quality, is open to ideas and can build on an integrated network, from spinning
to finishings. We can do anything!