The British Fashion Buyer Who Avoids Trends and Loves Birkenstocks

Natalie Kingham. Photo: JASON JEAN/Courtesy of Matches Fashion

Online shopping is fun, but online window shopping is even better. One of my favorite places to browse while dreaming of the life I’d live if I were clad exclusively in Vivienne Westwood is Matches Fashion. The British e-tailer has a perfectly calibrated mix of up-and-coming designers and name-brand labels — due in large part to Natalie Kingham, the fashion and buying director. Kingham has been the designer of her own label, so she knows a thing or two about sartorial details. Recently she oversaw Matches’s young talent hub, The Innovators. Below are some of her favorite things.

How do you thank someone for a gift?
A handwritten card — personal is always best.

What would you never wear?
Anything too tight. I am drawn more toward oversize shapes — I love using beautiful tailoring in shirting and suiting to give shape to your figure, rather than tighter fabrics.

What’s your dream vacation?
I would love to explore Japan. With my role, I’m lucky enough to travel to beautiful fashion cities, but in my personal time I love to visit different cultural destinations.

What’s a good book on your coffee table right now?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It was a gift and I must start reading it

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your apartment/office?
A black and white beaded African armchair — I love statement pieces to style interiors at home.

Last show you binge-watched?
My Brilliant Friend I simply love it and can’t wait for season two.

Secret to hosting a good party?
To be relaxed and enjoy the moment. During Fashion Weeks especially, it can be easy to be lost in a busy schedule of shows and appointments, so I really try to focus just on the night and enjoy the time with our guests. A good co-host always helps as well. We often work closely with our designers on events and having them on board makes it so much more fun.

What is a trend that you like right now?
I am not a fan of trends. I think we are moving more away from trends to a sense of longevity in our dressing and buying to suit our lifestyles and sense of style.

One you don’t understand?
Even if I’m not a big fan of a trend, I feel I can still understand what the designer is trying to say to their customer, so in a way I understand them all!

What’s another decade you’d like to live in and why?
I am very happy in this decade. Culturally and socially I think we live in such a dynamic and interesting time.

What’s one piece of clothing you can’t part with?
Right now, my Vetements camouflage coat.

What’s your favorite…

The Guggenheim in Venice.



Richard Quinn.

Cire Trudon Ernesto.

Fredrick Malle, Portrait of a Lady.

Crash and Rimowa.



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The Fashion Buyer Who Avoids Trends and Loves Birkenstocks