20 Minutes with Louisa Goltz

We talked books, fashion, diversity and eternal optimism with creative voice Louisa Goltz

Constantly moving between on- and offline, Louisa Goltz easily walks the tightrope between the two spheres in Prada feather shoes. Whether it’s in her job as team lead of global campaign management at Zalando or on one of her four Instagram accounts, she uses social media to create lasting memories, experiences and communities in real life. With her social fashion club @unoduetreamore, Louisa and her entourage of creative industry- and fashion-friends drop the hottest pre-loved sales in Berlin, while @unoduetrecultura offers an alternative to stuffy book clubs with the ever-same recommendations. And @unoduetrecommunita was the first and coolest Instagram account to create a Corona-support system for Hamburg’s and Berlin’s culinary and cultural scene by educating about delivery service options, restaurant pop-ups or online yoga classes. Follow her online and give your offline life an Amoretti-boost!

Louisa Goltz told us her favourite Berlin places and books, took us on a thought-trip to her wish-project, gave us her point of view on diversity in marketing and has some fashion insights for us.

Louisa Goltz

Nele Tüch: Being the team lead of global campaign management at Zalando and having worked within the fashion and lifestyle industry for the past years – how did the fashion industry’s relationship towards societal topics change since you started your career?
Louisa Goltz: I think especially this year, 2020, has brought an incremental level of change in regards to how companies react towards societal topics. Companies can no longer exclude themselves from taking a stand and just stay silent. This can be uncomfortable for them, it often forces to check and potentially rethink their own values, it brings discussions with it – internally and externally – but this critical thinking, in the end, allows to hopefully change for the better and can additionally give more purpose to a business.

Taking a position was definitely not a priority for brands when I started my career over ten years ago. Back then, designer collaborations were the thing everyone was talking about (H&M x Versace, etc.), working with normal people vs models in advertising came up – those were the biggest topics in advertising if I remember correctly. However, of course, there were brands like Diesel (mid to end 90s) with Jocke Jonason and Johan Lindeberg or Benetton with Oliviero Toscani who were on the forefront when talking about diversity in race, religion and sex in their highly discussed and partly controversially received campaigns; Patagonia, which is still going strong on taking a stand and does not compromise (I have the highest respect for them), Vogue Italy by Franca Sozzani always made statements in her editorials which were highly discussed, Vivienne Westwood of course as well. But there were not many brands back then.

I think Gen Z and the birth of social media which gives everyone a voice can take a lot of credit of the fact that companies are now taking a stand: They are forcing brands to represent more than just nice products and services, they are so much more engaged with the world – just look at Greta and the level of change she brought. And there are many other amazing, young people who are forcing the world to move with change. Advertising does play a part on it as well, it can definitely have an impact on how people see the world, and therefore I also see it in the responsibility of the people working on ad campaigns (this includes myself) that we drive positive change in the world inside and outside where we can.

NT: In campaigns, advertisement, webshops, television and magazines, we now see a lot more diversity than only a couple of years ago. But at the same time, we know, it is still a long way to go. If you had a wish, what would you change within this branch?
Louisa Goltz: The BLM movement has increased awareness for diversity a great deal which is very positive (and really sad if you look at what had to happen to speed this up), and as you said, it is still a long way to go. My wish would be that diversity from a marketing point of view is not seen as “ticking a box” or used as a proof of Zeitgeistyness and in reality, it is just a marketing tool. Diversity in race, sex, gender, religion should not just happen in the consumer-facing media but also trickle down to the inside of a company: How teams are built, how employees are treated, hiring processes as well as communication about diversity internally and externally. I think we have a lot of work to do still, education and open conversations are the key, in my point of view.

NT: If you could create whatever campaign you can imagine with a completely self-chosen team. What would you do?
Louisa Goltz: I am actually very lucky to already work with a lot of topics I do love: Sustainability as well as luxury, both topics I care about a lot personally. Especially sustainability is one of my dream projects because it is naturally rather dry, information-heavy and a lot of work – and to make this dry topic fun for the consumer is one of the biggest but most exciting challenges I have been and am working on.

I would enjoy working on a campaign for brands/companies which often are not displayed in the best way and where a more creative approach to marketing could make a change in regards to possibly reaching more people: Book stores, vintage shops, non-profit organisations, animal shelters.

Hotel Pellicano (images via @)

The team for an own, personal project I would choose would – if I think spontaneously about it – look as following: A story which celebrates the love to fashion. It could, for example, be a new interpretation of one of my favourite books „Women in Clothes“ by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton. The whole idea would creatively be led by Christopher Simmonds and photographed by Martin Parr or Glen Luchford. The director would be Paolo Sorrentino (Glen Luchford could also direct the whole piece, as he would prefer) and in the story, we would feature amazing people like artist Marina Abramovic, novelist Zadie Smith, singer/artist Patti Smith, actress and singer Zoe Kravitz, the incredibly cool trio Robert Rabensteiner, Umit Benan and Haider Ackermann in a location such as Il Pellicano in Italy or Hotel Chateau Marmont in LA or Pantelleria, where A Bigger Splash was filmed. The people are wearing a mix of Gucci, Helmut Lang, Prada, together with their favourite items from their past which mean something to them. The voice-over of the film would be done by Zadie Smith as well – I love her voice. Styling would be done by the cast themselves, it would be very authentic, not too serious though, but very real, we would only need one photo of each person and they could pose wherever they would feel they could express themselves the best. Note to the mentioned personalities: Please reach out if you are up for it! This was my five-minute brainstorming for a dream-project.

NT: You spent two years in Milan: Your love for the land of pasta, aperitivo and gelato is ever-present on your social media channels. What is your relationship towards Italy these days? 
Louisa Goltz: I love Italy. I love how Italians are masters in how to enjoy life, be it love, food or fashion, craftsmanship… I love their sense of aesthetics, I love Tuscany, I love the Amalfi coast. I love their artists and artisans. The Italy I created in my universe of @unoduetre is a product of my imagination though.

It makes me sad to see that, for example, the topic of diversity has – as it seems from the outside – only a small relevance in the country. Stella Jean, a really amazing Haitian-Italian fashion designer based in Milan, wrote an open letter to the Camera Nazionale della Moda, the organisation which organises the Milan shows, about the issue of no black designers on the main streaming calendar and one idea how to solve it to create a public database of Italian fashion houses and their percentages of Black employees. She has now stated that she will not return to the official calendar until she is no longer the only black designer on it. I also have been following the writer and fashion commentary Louis Pisano for years, he is sharing his own experiences with racism in Italy and dismantles on a continuous basis what is happening in the industry. I admire him a lot for speaking up, making people and brands responsible. I hope that different businesses and people in the industry also in Italy will start to educate themselves to work on driving real change for a more diverse culture – this country is so amazing and I find it hard to see the reality of where it stands when it comes to important topics we all need to work on urgently.

NT: Out of the need for an aesthetically pleasing bookclub matching the wishes of a specific target audience, you founded the Instagram account @unoduetrecultura – Which books have sustainably influenced your life?
Louisa Goltz: Actually, offering an aesthetically pleasing bookclub is one thing, another is showing a wider range of voices, not just one. A third reason is that I love connecting with people and I am very passionate about collectives, different people contributing to one thing to make something together, everyone bringing their own vision in. A fourth reason was to inspire people to read again – I used to read loads when I was young, then I stopped and now I cannot stop to read which is amazing and enriches my life. And I hope I can inspire others to do so too, as it brings so much joy and helps us – obviously dependent on what we read – to understand our world better, taking into account different standpoints.

But to your question: I read so much that this is hard to say, I think all the things I read, whether I like them or not, do have an influence on me. But of course, there are some books, which have more sustainably influenced me. One of them is “Practices for Liberating Body and Soul” by the Jivamukti founders David Life and Sharon Gannon: Not everything in the book I have taken on board and not everything I personally believe in, but one thing for sure: I have almost completely stopped to eat meat. I read the book, I also remember that I was on a train from Berlin to Hamburg during Christmas I believe… and suddenly while reading about veganism, I made the decision to stop eating meat. I am today not 100% vegetarian, but I think I can say I am veggie for 98% – and that happened because of the book.

Another is “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg: I love to read about human psychology and I love to find ways to hack my body and influence my psyche. Learning about how I can implement certain practices and habits into my life such as meditation or daily sports or understanding of why one gets addicted to certain habits (drinking coffee or drinking wine) and how to change that pattern was and is lifechanging.

Generally, I feel like Marina Abramovic is influencing me a lot: I love reading up everything I can get about someone I admire, and at the moment I am digging everything I find about her. It is a bit difficult to tell you on what exactly she has influenced me, as it is partly rather subtle, but especially both documentaries, “The Space In Between” and “The Artist is Present” have left a long-lasting imprint. I can relate to her spirituality and desire to last on challenges (she also did Vipassana, a 10-day silence retreat), I hope I can experience her Abramovic method, which she developed in order to be present in time and space, personally someday.

NT: On @unoduetreamore you and a circle of your creative friends, are reselling their designer and vintage finds. One fashion piece you would never sell? And one fashion piece you are searching for a long time?
Louisa Goltz: Good question! I am a Marie Kondo at heart and regularly look into what I need and what I don’t – and if I feel an item of clothing does not allow me to express myself like I want anymore, I pass the piece on to someone whose identity it fits at that moment. I myself also buy 85% pre-owned, only shoes and sports clothes I buy new and sometimes I treat myself with a piece from Only Anita, Matchesfashion or Net-A-Porter.

The only two things I would never sell are first a Chanel bag I got from my grandmother who I dearly loved and who passed away some years ago – it was the first expensive bag she bought and when I wear it I always think of her. The other fashion item is a pair of Prada shoes with feathers I bought from a friend, for some reason I really love feathers and I am pretty sure I will always love them.

NT: At the beginning of COVID-19, you founded @unoduetrecommunita to support local stores, restaurants and co., as well as to provide ideas for alternatives matching the situation. What did you learn from this project?
Louisa Goltz: First, people want to support each other. I saw this in Berlin where everyone was trying to help the local places to survive. Togetherness was key. This is a bit the buzz word of #Covid, but it was so true and beautiful to see.
Second, Creativity comes often with an urgent need to change, sometimes more than if you have a lot of time to think. I was so impressed with what kind of ideas restaurants and cafes came up with – Albatross founded a delivery service together with other brands/places, Otto did a box of amazing food etc.etc.
Third, eternal optimism.

NT: What are your favourite places and things to do in Berlin – stuff everyone should have on their bucket list?
Louisa Goltz: I am not sure if I am the right person to ask as my favourite places are not the most unknown, they are just very dear to me and places which I love.
My favourite thing in Berlin are the lakes. I recently went to Switzerland during the holidays, and not even the best lake in Berlin can compete with the lakes in the mountains. But: For me it is the best feeling to jump into a lake after a hot day, and we have what we have ? I usually go to a lake at least two times a week when the weather is good, mostly Schlachtensee because I don’t want to sit at the lake, but just swim and it is easy to reach with public transport or my Vespa.
Book stores: I really like to go to Ocelot and Uslar & Rai, they have great books and especially Ocelot is nice to just hang out. They allow you to read books at the store which I find generous and just what you want in a book store. I cannot wait for the opening of She Said Books in November this year, a book shop and cafe selling female and queer authors by the wonderful Emilia von Senger.
Ryoko: A beautiful space in Kreuzberg, where you can find Japanese spiritual objects and the best skincare, I love the smell of the oils and creams they have. At the heart of their shop are the stories they own with the items as well as sustainability: Both things that are very important to me.
Mies van der Rohe house: This house was build for the owner of an art school, Karl Lemke in 1933. In the course of the years the house was used as a kitchen, garage, laundry depot – in 1990 Hohenschönhausen where the house stands, could take it over and people can visit it now. This makes me dream about a house like this!

NT: You are living in Berlin at the moment, but you are originally from Hamburg and spent some time in your life in Milan. Where do you feel most at home?
Louisa Goltz: Definitely Berlin! I see myself living and staying here longterm. I love Hamburg, it is so beautiful and green, but I feel one is freer in the capital, at least in my perception. I do miss the nature, but besides that, Berlin offers everything, every kind of sport, cuisine, activity – whatever you want.

“I believe in the law of attraction – the more positively I am going into the world, the more positive the responses will be. Naturally.”


NT: You did a yoga apprenticeship, you went into silent retreat and you are meditating. Apart from the Yogini-lifestyle, what gives you personal leeway (=Freiraum)?
Louisa Goltz: Looking at the big picture of life. When times are tough, this might be more difficult to do, but I try to force myself to look at the situation and how relevant it will be in 10 years which often grounds me. Sometimes the trick even works with looking into how relevant it will be in two weeks.

Also: I am an eternal optimist and try to use my humour to get through difficult times or challenging situations. I believe in the law of attraction – the more positively I am going into the world (this includes friendliness to strangers, colleagues, friends, family), the more positive the responses will be. Naturally.

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