Suzanne Smulders is the co-founder of “LENA the fashion library” in Amsterdam. The library gives you access to a high quality collection of the finest vintage, upcoming designers and eco labels, which you can swap whenever you like. I heard about the library when our blogger “Klädoteket” visited them this summer. And now I am happy I got the chance to ask Suzanne some questions.
Do: Marketing/communications + co-founder
Background: AMFI Amsterdam fashion industry + freelance branding + communication
Interests: Fashion, health, culture, travel, innovation, dogs
Could you give us three keywords that describes LENA Fashion library ?
Style, innovation & fun
Who is your typical costumer?
LENA is a library for ladies only. We are so happy to see that our client base varies from 17 year old students to 55+ ladies. The thing they all have in common is that they love the LENA style, which
is a combination of unique eycatchers and clean cut timeless pieces. Having a subscription at LENA is not so much based on certain set demographics of a certain group, but it encounters
different motivations to come and borrow clothing with us:
⠂†a more sustainable lifestyle
⠂†an endless wardrobe for only €20,- a month
⠂†experimenting with different styles
⠂†no more misbuyings with the try-before-you-buy system
⠂†choose from a high quality and unique selection
One thing they all have in common for sure is that they love fashion and care about our planet!
After working in the fashion industry our focus tended to go straight to the sustainable aspect of fashion. With Doortje we specialized in the reuse of clothing with a focus on quality and
craftsmanship. It is great to see more and more people value secondhand clothing, but still the problem of overconsumption was bothering us a lot. That when we developed the idea of one big
shared walk in closet, functioning as a library. We started working on the idea late 2013, when we spend about a year on research, development, writing our businessplan and testing the concept with a pilot. In december 2014 we officially launched our library in Amsterdam at the Westerstraat. In january 2016 we hit a number of 280 members.
How would you describe your own style?
Clean, minimalistic, graphical prints
When did your interest in fashion start?
I loved dressing up my barbies as a kid already, my mom made them new outfits. As a teenager i was reconstructing my clothes and my interest in the psychological part grew more and more as i grew older. Why do people wear what they wear, what influence have brands etc?
What is the fashion norm in Amsterdam?
I think Amsterdam is really a down to earth city when it comes to fashion. We follow trends, but it never gets really crazy or dressed up. We see a lot of clean Scandinavian style brands coming up the last years. But we have a lot of urban influences as well. I guess blue jeans are the core of every wardrobe. If you go to work, to a party or just for a chill day, they always work.
What does sustainable fashion mean to you?
To me sustainable fashion is really important. I think speed of the fast fashion industry is making a huge negative impact on the world and we should all try to change that in order to take care of our planet. Next to that i really enjoy a nice piece of clothing so much more when i know it didn’t hurt anyone or anything in the making process.
What is happening this fall?
We are launching our new website this fall, which makes it possible to borrow our collection online! So looking forward to make the library accessible to many more people!
Text: Helena Johnzon Dahl
Photo: From Lena the fashion library