catch up with
We sat down with Elza Wandler, founder of Wandler, and asked her how the current worldwide situation is affecting the Amsterdam-based brand. What are her favourite pieces of art around the house and how does she stay focused while working? Read along for an update of the luxury leather goods brand.
Clear in function and shape, Wandler shows a distinctive aesthetic: elegant with unexpected dimensions and a dynamic use of colours. Embodying modern femininity, each design is a reflection of the designer — as she is and who she aspires to be.
Wandler is committed to sincere quality, each design is handmade in Italy. Elza Wandler launched her namesake brand Wandler late 2017. Born and raised in the south of the Netherlands, the designer currently works and lives in Amsterdam. Wandler presents six collections a year, offering luxury bags and footwear.
How are you doing?
I’m doing well. So happy to be at the office again with my team, working on new collections. I can’t wait to show it to everyone!
How is the current worldwide situation influencing your daily routine?
We're facing difficult times, affecting people and businesses around the world. Everyone needs to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. It’s beautiful to see the solidarity, how we encourage each other and use our creativity to digitally stay connected. But also, I think we need to take the signs of mother nature seriously. Rethink our roles as individuals and how businesses operate. We at Wandler are seizing this moment as an opportunity to strategically examine our business. Things will turn right side up again and we will come back stronger than ever before.
What is your favourite collector’s item (in terms of art/interior) at home and why?
I’m obsessed with vases. Right now, there are about fifteen in the living room alone, plus a collection of ceramic animals, including a dog, a panther and a tiger. My current favourite is Helle Mardahl.
Did you find new ways to get inspired?
I’ve picked up painting. It’s nice to do something that isn’t directly linked to my work. There’s no pressure: I don’t want to be an artist, I just want to relax and paint.
"I’ve picked up painting. It’s nice to do something that isn’t directly linked to my work. There’s no pressure: I don’t want to be an artist, I just want to relax and paint."
What are your wardrobe essentials in terms of clothing and accessories?
A statement coat, think Prada’s leather trench coat. A pair of good jeans, preferably from Toteme. Jewelry from Lizzie Mandler. Wandler heels and bags, ofcourse!
What do you enjoy wearing most while being at the house?
My cotton tracksuit with a soft flannel inside touch and Uggs (sorry not sorry) slippers.
Do you have a favourite Wandler bag and, if yes, what makes it your favourite?
That’s such a difficult question, but it depends what season you ask me this question. Now I’m taking the Carly Mini everywhere with me. It’s our newest addition to the family and it’s the perfect handbag that you can wear from day to evening.
What style advice would you give to people who are working from home?
Be comfortable and add some jewelry to your WFH outfit. You can never have enough gold :)
The Wandler office
What do you think when you see someone with a Wandler bag?
Omg, somebody pinch me. Really, words can’t describe how I feel every time I see someone with a Wandler bag.
What essential should every woman own?
To start: good accessories, bag, shoes, jewelry And if you are able to add something, the perfect white blouse never hurts.
What is the secret to your success?
Work, work, work. There's a lot of great competition out there. You need to work hard to stand out and be able to stick around. Of course, social media has definitely helped, but I believe it took more than that to build and get us where we're at now.
How do you stay focused?
It's an amazing journey so far and sometimes I forget we started not even three years ago. With the current size of our company and phase of our business, it's about finding and maintaining the balance of how best to divide your time across all teams. It's a constant switch of wearing different hats, while I do also find it one of the most exciting things of running your own business. As your name becomes more known, it feels like there are more eyes on you – it motivates me to keep evolving, anticipate customer needs and meet them in unexpected ways. I think it's very important for an entrepreneur to self-reflect. I learn every day.
"As your name becomes more known, it feels like there are more eyes on you – it motivates me to keep evolving, anticipate customer needs and meet them in unexpected ways."
Where do you design the luxury leather goods in your collection? Could you describe your design process?
I often work with music in the background. To zone out, I listen to a lot of piano music. Love everything from Ludovico Einaudi.
What is your ultimate way to relax while having your own business?
It’s important for me to practice mindfulness as my work is so hectic. I’m now reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
In our last interview we already got to know more about your thoughts and actions regarding sustainability. We have learned that you are now also working together with TreeSisters to plant more trees. Great initiative! Are there any other sustainability measures you took this year?
We’re very proud that we can support TreeSisters and contribute to their mission to restore the global forest. Our ambition is for our products and business operations to aim for minimum waste, minimum carbon emissions, zero hazardous chemicals, and for our products to be as circular as possible. We’re not sure when we will get there, but we’re committed to driving progress, evolving our approach and believe in the actions we are currently and will be taking, to move our business and the fashion industry towards a more innovative and responsible future. It’s an ongoing effort of measuring, improving, sharing, and learning throughout the process towards being more sustainable with many different steps – some small, some major.