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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 week: Jessica Bouwman, owner of the stores Spøtted, Sassy and Spøtted Femme / Homme in Zwolle.
Where do you get the most inspiration?
"Nowadays, it's mainly on Instagram or Pinterest. I can keep clicking on Pinterest. Favorite on Instagram is @whatgigiwears. And I try to go to Copenhagen every year. Not only for the fair, but also for the city, the people and the shops."
What do you love about Copenhagen?
"What you see there usually comes to the Netherlands a year later. Not only in terms of fashion, but also in terms of food and interior design. Very inspiring. I look at what brands are sold, what the shops look like, how people dress. Especially the Norrebro and Christianshavn districts are favourites. And the food is delicious. They lead the way in that too. In Copenhagen, I already got thai tea and juices with ginger when we weren't doing that at all in the Netherlands.”
How do you prepare for a trade show?
"Actually, I never go on a targeted search, but let brands surprise me. It might be different if you want to add new brands, then you prepare more thoroughly. Because you already see so many things online, you are less likely to be surprised these days. Last season, new Dutch women's brand Honnete Atelier had made us curious by delivering a nice package to the shop. As a result, I went to see them at Modefabriek. But usually I go out blank."
Why is a trade show like Modefabriek relevant to you?
"Because you see all brands together and there is good networking. I always take someone from the store to the fair. No, we don't make it a team outing. I usually go on Mondays, and I work with a lot of part-timers. Then it just has to fit to see if someone manages to come along."
Where do you like to shop?
"In the Netherlands, I love going to Rotterdam and Amsterdam and then visit De Bijenkorf. Always inspiring. My favourite shop is Skins Cosmetics. Especially the one in the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam. Nearby, you can also have a nice lunch and coffee. And I actually buy almost everything in my own shops. Or online."
What do you prefer to wear?
"My style is pretty basic and a bit tough. I like to wear trainers, New Balance or Mercer Amsterdam. For summer, I’m a fan of Birkenstock’s Bostons. I like oversized blazers. I prefer not to wear colours, but neutral and light shades like cream and grey. I don't wear black anyway, especially for tops. I think that looks too harsh on my hair and face."
How sustainable are you?
“Many things are out of your control. Of course, sustainability is important, but I think it's up to the brands themselves. We don't select brands on sustainability, but all brands are working on it. It also depends on how sustainably you handle your clothes yourself as a consumer. If you buy fewer items and use them longer, you are also being sustainable.”
What's on your personal wish list this season?
"I am a fan of Wandler's bags. I already have one in green and would love to have another one. I don't know yet which colour will be next. I do know which model: the Penelope."
Your favorite perfume?
"I always wear Escentric Molecules. I now have the Molecule +01 Iris. Many customers say the shop smells so good. They now recognise it as my perfume."
Written by Rosita van der Kwaak