in her shoes

Net-a-Porter’s Head Buyer Makes a Case for Dressing Up at Work

Meet Elizabeth von der Goltz.

Elizabeth von der Goltz wears a Saint Laurent blazer, Rosie Assoulin dress, and Celine boots. Photo: Gabriela Herman
Elizabeth von der Goltz wears a Saint Laurent blazer, Rosie Assoulin dress, and Celine boots. Photo: Gabriela Herman

If your Net-a-Porter cart is never empty, you can thank (or blame!) Elizabeth von der Goltz and her team. As head of global buying for the online shop, von der Goltz picks out the best clothes from runway shows and scouts cool new brands (they were one of the first sites to stock Ganni, Nanushka, and By Far). She’s based in London, but she and her team are constantly visiting showrooms and fashion weeks across the globe to find exactly the right pieces.

Von der Goltz landed this dream job after years of extensive experience in the retail world. She worked at Barneys New York right out of college, then moved on to Bergdorf Goodman where she worked alongside Linda Fargo. We spoke with her about her work uniform, her favorite designers, and why she dresses up every day.

Von der Goltz’s favorite Phoebe Philo–era Celine boots. Photo: Gabriela Herman

On her everyday shoes: During the colder months, I usually wear my white Gianvito Rossi ankle boots or these great suede platform boots that I have from Prada. But when it’s warm, I’ll switch into a simple flat, strappy sandal.

On always being prepared: I’m not generally a casual dresser unless I’m flying, so I’m ready for a big meeting at any time. I guess this is from working in New York City for many years and having my office on top of a store. I always had to look smart, professional, and fashionable. It’s a habit that I’ve carried with me throughout my career.

On her lack of desk shoes: We have an open work space, so I tend to avoid too much clutter at my desk. What I commute to work in each morning is usually what I’ll be wearing throughout the day. And given the London rain, I really have to plan ahead each day.

On her old Celine boots: I love them! They’re an older style but still a trusted wardrobe staple. The rounded toe makes them super comfortable, and the color is just right. Deep burgundy makes them seem special but still neutral enough to go with just about anything in my closet.

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On her Monday outfits: It depends on which city I am in and my mood. If I’m visiting designer showrooms or have business meetings, I’m in full fashion mode. That means I’m in a dress or I’ll wear a skirt paired with a blouse and tailored blazer. I’ll add my favorite slouchy boots, a fitted coat, and a structured bag. [On] days when I’m in the office, I’m more casual. I’ll wear a fun sweater with wide-leg pants or high-waisted jeans. To pull it all together I’ll add boots and my trusty sharp blazer.

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On her average day: When I’m actually in London and in the office, I tend to be in back-to-back meetings. I’ll talk with my senior team to go over the buying strategy and orders for the upcoming season. Then I’ll see our merchandisers, the marketing team to discuss upcoming brand launches, and the site navigation or data insights teams to hear how our brands are performing. It’s nonstop! I travel frequently because I’m constantly scouting new designers and meeting with our existing brands. I’ll typically be in New York, Paris, or Milan, going from one showroom to the next and meeting with the executive teams of the brands.

On who she dresses for: I love fashion. Obviously, it’s my job, but it is truly my passion. I love getting dressed each morning, and I’m inspired when I see great new collections. I’m constantly adding to my wish list and putting together outfits in my head. During the big fashion weeks I definitely make more of an effort as we are meeting with the brands and our top customers who join us for the shows.

On what gives her joy at work: The best part is seeing beautiful collections up close and meeting so many creative and talented people! It keeps me interested in and excited about what I do. It’s also incredibly rewarding to work with the talented team of buyers at my job. I really enjoy the time I spend with my team, helping them to not only develop, but to also evolve in their own careers. I’m constantly learning from them, too.

On her style evolution: It’s funny to look back and remember all the different stages and designer obsessions over my career. When I first started, I was lucky enough to land a job as assistant buyer at Barneys in 1996 — it was my ultimate dream job! At that time, I was really into the Belgian and Japanese designers like Ann Demeulemeester and Yohji Yamamoto. I also grew to love Marni during my time there.

When I oversaw the couture ready-to-wear department at Bergdorf Goodman years later, I was more dressed-up. We used to joke that the team could wear cocktail dresses to work, and it would still be normal — for us! Now that I’m in London at Net-a-Porter, I’m having more fun with my style. I’m wearing a lot more color and styling my outfits in new ways, and I’m really loving it.

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What Net-a-Porter’s Head Buyer Wears to Work