Goldbergh: An exclusive interview
In 2009, successful ski shop owner Sandra Peet and activewear designer Lieke van den Berg decided to set up a new sports fashion label for women. The first collection set the Goldbergh Standard with an intoxicating mix of performance and fashion aimed at the stylish active woman. Ten years later, Goldbergh has truly earned its reputation as a key player in the women’s sports fashion market.
We had a chat with Sandra and Lieke about Goldbergh and what makes the brand so special.
Where does the name Goldbergh comes from?
In Dutch and German Bergh means mountain and also Lieke’s last name is “van den Berg”. Since Goldbergh started as a ski brand, this was obvious! The Gold part comes from the fact that we are both blonde!”
What is it about Goldbergh that makes the brand so successful?
Goldbergh incorporates fashion into sportswear design to make women feel special but still comfortable before, during and after sports & leisure activities. We focus on quality and fit as well as fashion.
Do you immediately know which new styles will sell well? Do you mostly rely on your intuition?
Lieke: I definitely trust my intuition. This is the most important aspect during the design phase, in combination with experiences from prior seasons. Sometimes however the final sales can be surprising!
Sandra: Customers always are looking for something new, so it’s impossible to totally predict what they will like. But that is what makes it fun! Every season you start at zero and as a designer and sales(wo)man we need to meet the challenge.
You make women’s clothing for women. Why only for women?
From a design point of view there was a lack of fashionable female sport/ski brands. Up until then most female sportswear was focused more on practicality but not so much on flattery. So we saw an opportunity here to provide women with fashionable sports and skiwear. In addition, we always aim to do things well with a high standard.
Why do Goldbergh mainly employ women?
It’s not really a conscious choice to mostly employ women, but in the fashion industry there are more women after all. At the moment we have 19 employees, of which 4 are men.
What message would you give to the world as strong and
For us, clothing plays an important role in how you feel. Clothing can make you feel strong, independent, confident and courageous. This is what we would like women to feel all around the globe.
What are your most important goals when creating the collection?
Besides a beautiful design that looks good on you, the clothing should also be functional and comfortable. For
example, it’s important to not get cold in our ski jackets. So we need to use the right materials and finishing that
are fashionable but also practical.
What was the decisive time where you knew, now we have made the breakthrough?
Next year we will celebrate our 10th year anniversary. We sell in 35 countries, with over 400 doors… Maybe you could say we have made our breakthrough. However, you are only ever as good as your last collection. So every year we have to approach it as if it is the first year.
How do you complement each other and what are the differences between Sandra and Lieke?
We are a good team because our skills complement each other; Lieke is, as a designer, very intuitive as to
what customers want... and Sandra is very knowledgeable of the market and knows how to sell. Together we combine these skills.
Lieke: What do you value most about Sandra?
Sandra is very charming and genuine while selling. She is never too pushy. She has a lot of perseverance and is
very involved with the company and its employees. Sandra is always alert to opportunities and fights for the
best possible result.
Sandra: What do you value most about Lieke?
Lieke is (in my opinion!) the best designer. Her designs stay current and her signature style never goes out of
fashion. Her eye for detail and finishing is especially admirable.
What is your life motto?
Life’s a party, but you have to hang the garlands yourself! It’s important to have joy in your life. We are fortunate to be active in a market were fun is a major part. Skiing is a holiday, it’s fun!
Ok, if the day had more than 24 hours, then I would be more often...
Sandra: I would like to spend more face-to-face time with (new) clients. Building long lasting relationships is
important to me, and I ideally would spend all my time on this.
Lieke: For me, I would like to spend even more time on the finishing touches of our designs. As Sandra said, I
If you could choose, who would be your dream celebrities to wear Goldbergh?
Cara Delevingne & Jennifer Lawrence.
Which high fashion labels do you admire and why?
Chanel, because it is classy and stylish. Alexander Wang, because it incorporates fashion with sportswear
and is modern and contemporary.
Who do you see as Goldbergh’s biggest competitor?
What’s made you smile recently at Goldbergh?
When the Dutch royal family was seen in Goldbergh on the slopes
What gives you the most pride in what you’ve achieved with the Goldbergh brand?
It is so impressive to see Goldbergh clothes hanging in the most beautiful shops all around the world, such as in Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Selfridges in London, Net á Porter, Bijenkorf Amsterdam and Globus and Och Sport in Switzerland.
What is Goldgergh’s Eco-balance and are you paying attention to it?
We are certainly aware of the sustainability aspect. Firstly we make high quality clothing which lasts a lot longer, in contrast to fast fashion. We minimize the use of plastic in our shipping. We only work with suppliers with a BSCI certificate. In the current collection 20% of the fabric used is Bluesign, which is approved ecologically
manufactured fabric. For next season we are working with recycled fabrics where possible.
How important are current fashions and trends for Goldbergh?
We are a modern and progressive brand. Our identity is sports and fashion, so trends and current themes are our daily business.
Despite the winters getting warmer and shorter, do you continue to believe in winter ski wear? Is there a Plan-B?
Did you see the amount of snow that fell in the Alps last winter?! We’ll be needing a ski jacket for some time to come! Besides skiwear we also have a sports and casual line all year round. In the skiwear collection there is a fashion line included that can be worn uphill as well as downtown.
What are your dreams for Goldbergh in the future?
A couple of beautiful brand stores in the best locations in the mountain resorts would be nice.
Goldbergh is very high profile on social media, on a scale of 1 - 10 how important is social media in your marketing?
I’d say 9, social media certainly contributed massively to our awareness, because our customers see us not only in the shops but also online.
Which social network is most important to Goldbergh?
It takes a lot of courage to start your own fashion label, why were you sure you’d be successful?
We thought... Just Do It! We saw an opportunity in the market for a luxury sportswear brand. We both have experience in the ski market and we united our skills with a strong manufacturing partner Stone Fashion. Step-by-step we are growing together with our dedicated Goldbergh team.
Thanks for your time, we’re really excited to be joining the Goldbergh family this winter!