With over two decades of experience in the fashion industry, Net-a-porter’s global buying director Elizabeth van der Goltz believes in classic and modern dressing, but always with a personal twist.
Born in New York, with her growing- up years spent in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong, Elizabeth van der Goltz would often travel and visit museums with her parents. Her father would take the family to all the best designer shops in Europe to have suits and shirts made. Even in Hong Kong, she would visit all the local tailors to shop for fabrics and have her clothes made.
The 47-year-old still subscribes to the same style philosophy today: investing in wardrobe classics to buy now and wear forever. A khaki trench coat, a forever shirt, a navy blazer, a slick black dress and a turtleneck are her key essentials. “I also look for updated versions that will remain interesting in years to come. Giuliva Heritage and Gabriela Hearst are brands offering true, timeless fashion, making your wardrobe work harder for you.”
She adds: “I’ve always loved fashion, but didn’t know it could be a career.” With a degree in art history, she got her break as an assistant buyer for private label Ronald van der Kemp at Barneys in 1997. She then worked at Bergdorf Goodman for 14 years before joining Net-a-porter in 2017.
Cady dress, $1,900, Gabriela Hearst at Net-a-porter
As global buying director, she oversees a team of around 50 buyers across all categories, including clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, beauty, fine jewellery and watches.
Being a buyer isn’t as simple as attending shows and looking at beautiful clothes. There are analytic meetings to attend, strategising on how to grow the business in double digits season after season, and discovering upcoming designers under the Net-a-porter Vanguard programme, which is in its second year running.
Jia Jia, Heidi Middleton of Artclub and Minjukim, are the newest brands to join the programme. “I am excited to continue working on this programme as it really represents a global and diverse group of designers,” she shared.
Her favourite established designers include Daniel Lee, Gabriela Hearst and Peter Do, who cut his teeth designing under Phoebe Philo and Derek Lam and won the inaugural LVMH Prize before launching his eponymous label.
“Peter has vast knowledge of fabrics, and the quality of his tailoring is extremely high. We haven’t seen a new designer of this calibre for a long time. Personally, I just love wearing his pieces.”
With back-to-back zoom calls and virtual presentations, Van der Goltz has some style advice for the busy career woman.
“Confidence and comfort are essential for work and business meetings – you do not want to be fussing with your clothes.”
A great tailored jacket makes anything look more professional, while accessorising with jewellery that highlights the face so people pay attention to you when you speak. She adds: “Looking sharp and smart is key, but also do not let the clothes take over – it’s important that the focus is on you as a person, and your intelligence.”
(Also read: Here are “Oversized Boxy Blazers To Add Polish To Any Outfit“)
The Bottega Veneta Padded Cassette bag – this should see me through the next decade!
Cassette bag, $5,430, Bottega Veneta at Net-a- porter
Leather has gone far beyond the usual trend. We saw it being treated as a fluid fabric, taking on a much more supple form and texture. I am adoring the head-to-toe leather looks, which came in an abundance of shades. These will work perfectly for our customers’ working wardrobes and take them effortlessly from day to night.
Boots, $2,015, Gianvito Rossi at Net-a- porter
Khaite was one of the stand-out shows from FW20 New York Fashion Week. The unbuttoned scarf print blouse, the Western-inspired boots, and the zebra jacquard trousers and miniskirts were all exceptional, yet still extremely wearable pieces.
We’ve loved welcoming back the It Bag, courtesy of Gucci’s Jackie – a high-end hobo as iconic as its namesake. It was launched in the ’50s and reprised in 1964 for Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Fall’s fresh take is the ladylike statement this season demands.
Saint Laurent’s tartan, double breasted blazer with a beautiful velvet collar that opened the show this FW20 is a gorgeous piece that we’ll also be buying into.
I love Emma Willis’ use of traditional English tailoring and craftsmanship using exceptional quality of cottons. The shirts come in a variety of traditional colours such as white, cornflower blue and pale pink – the optimal choice for a forever shirt.
We can’t wait to buy variations of the combat boots we saw everywhere on the FW20 runways. These are styles that would be considered gothic in the past, but now act as practical boots for the minimalist.
JIA JIA This New York-based label offers jewellery made from healing crystals and precious stones. All crystals are ethically hand-selected from mines. Each creation is modern and one-of-a-kind, bringing newness to the industry.
ARTCLUB A progressive brand founded by Australian designer Heidi Middleton focusing on fashion, art and vintage. Recognising the importance of sustainability, the brand creates a dialogue between the brand, the maker and customer through the thoughtful touch of including the maker’s name within the garment.
MINJUKIM We were looking for someone with a unique brand DNA, someone who could translate their designs into something our customer would buy and wear. South Korean designer Minju Kim has a modern approach to sexiness – her previous collection has resonated globally, and it has been super exciting to see how customers react to her work.
This story first appeared in the November issue of Her World.