chief director studio anneloes
interview by Isrid
'I like to share my good taste with the consumer'
“I worked for Bandolera as a sales manager for approximately eight years. I noticed my customers felt the need to keep some cash flow in order to be able to buy merchandise last minute if needed. They wanted to let go of the old system in which large, established brands demand a certain purchase budget. In turn, I became increasingly unhappy with the collection we offered, realising the gap between the collection and what customers were looking for. I was positive I knew the market demand. This all played out eleven years ago. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to go out on my own, our children were still very small. Joining my husband Jan-Willem, who is an agent in fabrics, on one of his business trips to Istanbul, I discovered items and designs that would fit my clients. My commercial instinct was triggered and I bought several items to give it a trial run. Over the next few months, clients were excited and the more people I talked to, the more I realised I was meant to go down this road.”
“As a start up entrepreneur in fashion you need to be located in the WFC if you want customers to be able to find you. At the WFC I found a temporary showroom which I decorated inexpensively. Right from the start I had a lot of traffic and sales, exceeding all my expectations. I focused on improving fit and quality and once I decided to take on production and creating small collection programs, the business took off. Especially my dress collection sold well in a variety of patterns. As my rental agreement came to an end, I was in need of a new showroom. I ended up in the fourth tower, in between all the kids brands which wasn’t a good fit. It took some time as a young professional to be eligible to move to a better place but in the end I moved to a great showroom down in the hustle and bustle of the passageway. Jan–Willem joint the company two years ago and together we continue to build.”
'We offer, on a weekly basis, new fashion concepts, ready to wear collections from stock'
“Every store has its own fixed set of labels they carry and it was up to me to add my own fashion candy, as I call it, to finish off the look and feel of the store. By keeping a close eye on my clients and their needs I was able to add my collection to theirs to make their store completely up to date. My clients suggested I turn my own collection into a label and so Studio Anneloes was born.”
“I wasn’t the only one who tapped in to the demand to produce fashion delivered from stock. Still I felt a stronger need to upgrade quality and pricing. Nowadays we work with more luxury polyamide in different weight qualities. I still keep a watchful eye on the market but I no longer add some of my fashion candy; Studio Anneloes produces respectable collections, using the flow merchandise concept. In order to continuously renew a store, we offer, on a weekly basis, new fashion concepts, ready to wear collections from stock.”
So now you have designers on staff?
“No, I am doing my own designing. Aside from having an all round commercial talent, I have a creative side too. We carry a basic collection in black and dark blue and I build my patterns around that. I am also more active these days with a range of colour themes. Every Monday we send out a mailing to our clients offering a new program which they can order and have shipped immediately. I have an entire team making sure things run smoothly. In order to facilitate the process we keep all aspects of the business in our own hands. Production, logistics, e-commerce and sales is all done from our locations in the WFC.”
“Our production isn’t based on pre orders. We take all the risk in buying the necassary fabrics and deciding last minute which items to produce. We work on a ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ kind of principal. This way our production is environmentally friendly, we never throw things out. We design clothes to last, creating timeless pieces, using high quality fabrics. We create an honest product. Production is done exclusively in Europe, mainly Poland, and we have our set production partners solely working for Studio Anneloes.”
“I like to share my good taste with the average consumer. My taste has developped over time. This is why I would like to start a second label tapping into a higher, more luxurious segment. I also see posibilities in the company uniform sector since we work with a high quality polyamide. I have worked nonstop for the past ten years. On a more private note, I would like to free up more time to spend with the kids.”
“We like to change up our slogan every year. Last year we featured Ikea’s slogan: ‘Attention creates all things beautiful’. This year we only use one word: ‘quality’. The plan for 2018 is to launch our new branding concept with the slogan ‘Everybody happy!’ “