Q&A Jean School alumni: Dong Thanh Tran

With the Jean School’s first alumni already having entered the workforce, FashionUnited contacted a few of them to catch up and take a moment to map out for which denim companies they currently work. Starting from this week FashionUnited will introduce the alumni with a quick Q&A. Today Dong Thanh Tran, all round at Atelier de L'Armée.

Why did you choose for Jean School?

“Initially I intended to do Jean School during a gap year, after not being selected for the study I actually wanted to apply for: dentistry. I chose Jean School because I am interested in fashion, and I eventually decided to stay because of the fun and satisfaction I derived from it.”

What was the most valuable thing you learned at Jean School?

“It is not necessarily a skill I learned, but the most valuable thing the Jean School gave me, was the network I built up. Additionally it taught me a lot about how garments are constructed.”

Where do you work now, and what is your job title?

“I am currently working at the Amsterdam based brand Atelier de l’Armée. I started working for them during my ten week internship in the first year of the programme, came back to work for them one day a week while I was in my third year and eventually got a full time job right after obtaining my degree. I don’t have an official job title, as I work all round within the company under direct supervision of the brand’s two owners.”

How would you describe what an average day in your life looks like?

“Diverse and dynamic. It really depends on which period we are with the company. It could be the case that I have a so-called design week, whereas at other times I am responsible for the in house production where I guide three interns and create bags for five weeks in a row. However, there are a few recurring tasks which I take care of on a daily basis such as customer care and order processing.”

What ambitions do you still have?

“I am of the opinion that as long as my work is interesting and I get to learn new things while being surrounded by colleagues with whom I get along well, I am where I need to be. In general, my preference goes out to working in design or development, both in the field of denim as well as tailoring.”

About Jean School

Jean School offers both a three-year Dutch programme as well as a one-year international version which is completely taught in English. Both the Dutch as well as the English programme are focussed on four specific themes: innovation, sustainability, history and craftsmanship. Students receive training in a variety of both practical and theoretical aspects of denim, including sewing, pattern making, washing and buying. The programme is closely tied to the industry: students regularly receive guest lectures by professionals from the industry, and they also get the chance to participate in projects for which they have to collaborate with companies. Additionally, students annually attend the Amsterdam Denim Days as well as the Global Denim Awards and get to be involved in the renowned denim trade fair King Pins. More information on the programme, admission requirements and the application can be found on the Jean School website.

Since its establishment in 2012, a total of 21 students graduated from the programme. Of these alumni, the large majority has found a job in the denim industry.

Also check the storymap with all the Jean School alumni from the class of 2015 and 2016 here.