Q&A// MEET 4530

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Koen Warmerdam, 4530
Job title: Co-owner

For those who are not familiar with the label, could you describe it?
“My sister Laura and I started 4530 four years ago. We both have a background in fashion and always wanted to start a label together. It started with a pocket tee concept, which sold out immediately. We then progressed to four collections a year. This season, we’re presenting women’s clothing for the first time.”

What does the name of the label come from?
“It’s our grandma’s PIN code. She’s no longer with us, but suffered from Alzheimer’s the last years of her life, so my family and I often did her grocery shopping for her. Everyone in the family knows that PIN code. When we started thinking about names for the label, we came up with all kinds of complicated names, but then my father said that you need to have a name that brings a smile to people’s faces. Grandma really brought us up on fashion. She had her own fashion company and we were given a new wardrobe every year. She’s always contributed to our sense of fashion, so you might say this is an ode to her.”

And you have a special sales concept, right?
“Yes, we sell according to the concept that, whenever you buy an item of 4530 clothing, you donate a T-shirt to someone in the Netherlands who is in need of one. There are more than 1.2 million people in the Netherlands living below the poverty line. That was reason enough for us to get into action. Most of us probably have enough T-shirts hanging in our closet, but there are people in the Netherlands who do not have this luxury. So a simple item of clothing like a T-shirt can make a big difference. The men’s T-shirts have two Ms on them: Men to Men. And the women’s T-shirts two Ws: Women to Women. The needy in the Netherlands receive the T-shirt from us through the Vergeten Kind (Forgotten Child) Foundation. We’ve been doing this for two years now.”

What item of clothing do you prefer to invest in?
“I’m crazy about shoes, so I prefer to invest in them. I have a huge collection of around 50 to 60 pairs. It’s actually a little embarrassing and drives my girlfriend completely crazy.”

Why do you feel so strongly about helping others?
“We want to give everyone the chance to wear this T-shirt – whether you’re rich or poor, disabled or able-bodied. Everyone should have this basic T-shirt. People are living more consciously and we want to promote this. That makes us happy, both as people and as a label. And it’s really cool to be able to do this as a community. Consumers contribute and we contribute.”

Changes in the fashion industry?
“We’ve noticed that the industry is becoming more transparent. I hope people will start thinking more about other people instead of just themselves. I also hope that consumers will shop with greater awareness. We want people to start looking at clothing from a different perspective.”