"A major plus point is that we have really good people here, and we genuinely work as a team."
Questions to Jan Paul ten Hoopen, General Director McGregor
Describe a typical working day
To get things done, inspire people and be inspired myself, I'm always having meetings. Sometimes these are formal, but often they're informal: just coming together with a cup of coffee, looking at mood boards, exchanging ideas, making decisions and above all letting people do their own thing. Business is about people, and fashion is about emotion. That's why I'm always working with people – we're constantly visualizing our ideas and putting our heads together, to achieve our aim of expanding McGregor internationally as a team.
Describe your background and experience
While I was studying at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and doing my PhD at the University of St Gallen, I was involved in various consulting and industry projects. I really enjoyed working abroad and learnt a lot from it – I worked for a number of companies, including BMW in Munich and TAG Heuer in Switzerland, where I ended up as European Commercial Director. And, of course, I feel the same way about my international job at McGregor.
What do you like about your job?
Ever since I joined McGregor in 1999, I feel that every day is a challenge to do the very best I can. We're not (yet!) the biggest player on the international fashion stage, so we have to be creative and clever with the resources we have.
What do you like about working at the McGregor Fashion Group?
A major plus point is that we have really good people here, and we genuinely work as a team. Also, the company is structured in such a way that everything can be decided and implemented in small teams with short lines of communication. We're still relatively small, but we think big and work big.
What has been your biggest challenge to date at the McGregor Fashion Group?
The continued growth we're achieving is fantastic, but I'm convinced that the strong mutual bonds and personal relationships we have here are the core of our success, and I'd like it to stay that way. Our entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for both fashion and the brand are values that we have to keep reinforcing, even as we sustain this incredible growth.
What personal contribution that you have made to the success of the McGregor Fashion Group are you most proud of?
From an external perspective, the Formula One contracts with Spyker and now Williams are great projects: they're gradually repositioning the McGregor brand as more aspirational and more fashion forward. Internally, I'm proud of the quality of the staff we've got here and their tremendous drive, loyalty and openness. I hope I've contributed to that in some way myself. It's always a treat to have lunch together!