Elizabeth von der Goltz
As the global buying director for NET-A-PORTER, the world’s largest multi-brand luxury retailer, Elizabeth von der Goltz is one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry, not to mention one of the most globetrotting. Fortunately, growing up between Tokyo, London and Hong Kong prepared her well for a packed itinerary of round-the-world fashion shows. Having honed her talent as SVP-General Merchandise Manager at New York’s landmark store Bergdorf Goodman, she now oversees an online empire that serves 170 countries from the NET-A-PORTER London headquarters. A nose for new talent and an instinct for fashion trends, combined with a mind for business is what makes Elizabeth so successful at her job, which includes scouting, sourcing and nurturing both established and emerging brands and designers. With a growing focus on sustainability to boot, Elizabeth’s career couldn’t be more integrally connected with the future of fashion. We recently caught up with Elizabeth to ask her about her inspirations, achievements and current state of mind.
A project/initiative you’re most proud of?
Spearheading and implementing Net Sustain, our sustainability initiative on Net-a-Porter. We launched last June and it has been wildly rewarding to see such a positive reaction to it from within our own company, our customers, and our brand community.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Absolutely everything around me – I love to observe and experience life from every angle. I love to travel and discover new destinations where the landscapes, seascapes, culture and history inspire me. Art and architecture; meeting people from different cultures and all different ages and I especially love food!
Which art/design/style icons you are most inspired by?
I am currently inspired by the movement for positive change regarding diversity and inclusivity which I’m super passionate about. It has moved all of us to work hard towards creating positive change at work, in our lives, and society at large.
Which colours are you currently enamoured of?
I love all shades of blue and green, and then the colours of a spectacular sunset.
A timeless design piece you own?
A mid-century Carrinho de Cha bar cart designed by Jorge Zalszupin which we found in Brazil. Sculpted from beautiful jacaranda wood with brass wheels – It’s a piece my husband and I find pleasure looking at every day.
What’s an accessory you had for ages?
I have a Prada brocade small handbag I had to track down when it came out I believe 2001. They have actually brought back the same exact brocade a few seasons ago.
The beauty product you can’t live without?
My Augustinus Bader face cream and also my Angela Caglia LED mask now that I have to give myself facials at home.
Favourite destination and hotel?
Oh, I have so many. Oahu is probably one of my favourite islands in the world where I have a lot of family. But my favourite hotel is still the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok – you can’t beat the location on the river as well as the impeccable service. And right now, after having to travel so much for business, working from home these past 4 months has made me truly appreciate just being still and staying home.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Probably flying in a glider and saying yes when the pilot asked if I wanted to do aerobatic loops. And white water rafting in Bhutan where we capsized and I almost floated all the way to India.
What do you miss most when travelling?
When travelling for work, which used to be too often, I always miss my husband the most.
What city would you live in if you had to move?
I’m pretty open. I moved to London from NYC three years ago. I grew up in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong. Went to school in Boston and then Washington DC. I’m pretty open to living in different cities.
What souvenirs would you bring back home?
Usually food – local wine, spices, cheeses, charcuterie – whatever I can fit and get away with.
Your latest discovery?
We spent a week last summer in Pantelleria where the landscape was just so wild and beautiful and where we witnessed the most wondrous sunsets every evening. Plus, the food and wine were absolutely delicious.
I love the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the Tate Modern in London.
What is on your bookshelf?
So many books! I love reading mostly fiction and love a good old fashioned real book.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Wine – I love good wine. Now we’re eating at home every night I’ve started collecting quite a bit.