Meet the Buyers at Modefabriek: Arthur & Willemijn

04 Jan 2024
Door Modefabriek

In Meet the Buyers at Modefabriek, we talk to retailers and buyers about their personal favourites, what inspires them and what they will be looking for next round of trade shows. This edition: Sander van Buiten, co-owner of women's fashion shops Arthur & Willemijn in the Utrecht region.

Where do you get the most inspiration?

"I always get inspired by other industries, from car brands to restaurants. The other day, in a presentation, we saw an airport in Singapore. It looked like a park, very green and with a climbing area for children. It's interesting to look at something from a different perspective. Restaurant The Secret Garden in Amsterdam is one big experience. It is a bit hidden away and gives you the feeling of an exclusive club. It starts with booking; you make a request and get a proposal for a date."


How do you prepare when you go to a trade show?

"Our buying season always starts with Christine Boland and sometimes I grab another trend presentation. We always go to Modefabriek and usually to one foreign trade fair. Our employees also go to Modefabriek and sometimes we give them an assignment to look for a certain type of brand. On the second day, we then look at the brands they have tipped. You sometimes have blind spots, and your employees make you look differently. Because of them, we once ended up with Penn&Ink."



What are you most looking forward to at Modefabriek? 

"To see and talk to everyone. We know the owners of all our Dutch brands, and we can catch up with them at Modefabriek. During purchasing, you usually only speak to the account manager. And I always really look forward to the talks at Modefabriek. I always love David Shaw. My head is completely full of ideas and inspiration afterwards."


Best find at a fashion trade show ever?

"That wasn’t at a trade show, but on the high street. In New York, we were inspired by The RealReal, a high-end vintage concept with 16 shops in the US. The selection is of a high-standard and is compiled by a curator. As a result, we also started vintage in our shops a year ago. Clothes are handed in by customers. It doesn't have to be items bought from us, but it must be in our style and of high quality. It’s a success, we sold 1800 second-hand pieces in a year."


Where do you like to shop?

"I don't take much time for it. I find it very inspiring to visit shops abroad for work. During the interior design fair Salone del Mobile in Milan, we were given a tour of the most beautiful shops in the city by Monique van der Reijden of Elle Decoration with EK Retail's networking group. Super inspiring."

What do you prefer to wear?

"My style is timeless and Scandinavian. I usually wear black or grey, often jeans with a sweater or a shirt. Simple and practical. There must be something quirky in it. I mix Cos with Filippa K or All Saints and Denham."


How sustainable are you?

"When it comes to food, we consciously choose less meat and lots of vegetables. We further try to make sustainable choices when we renovate. In the new store in Bussum, we have LED lighting, solar panels and ceiling tiles made from recycled materials. And our bags are made of compressed agricultural waste."


Written by Rosita van der Kwaak

Category Retail Fashion
Tags Stores

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