Stored and Adored

Dedicated to Designer and Pre-Loved Bags

Saturday, 26 November 2016

All About Anya Hindmarch

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photo by nameless users / CC BY

Anya Hindmarch began her huge handbag empire in a simple but effective way. After a stint studying abroad in Italy she fell in love with the Italian leather bags that she saw women carrying, and she decided to bring them over to the UK and sell them. After a successful first attempt, Hindmarch continued sourcing Italian leather bags between 1987-1992, as well as having her own designs made by a factory in Italy. These bags were then sold in luxury stores in London, New York, Japan, France and Italy. It wasn't until the factory began selling directly to Harvey Nichols - cutting her out of the equation - that Anya Hindmarch opened her own store and the brand was born.

At the time, Hindmarch was sharing a building in South Kensington where she began selling her own bags which were marked with a tiny bow - a detail that remains to this day. The shop on Walton Street proved to be successful and the brand consistently grew. In 2006 it took on outside investment of $38 million which propelled growth further, and by 2009 there were 51 Anya Hindmarch stores worldwide with estimated sales of £20 million.

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photo by David Barrie / CC BY / edited: cropped, sharper

Anya Hindmarch has never had the breakout success of other brands, such as Jimmy Choo, however, every year the company has managed to turn a profit. Today in 2016, Anya Hindmarch has more than 57 stores, with more than half of its business being done overseas. The brand's British characteristics, and its fashionable humour, have proven to be a big success both at home and abroad. Anya Hindmarch's designs have always been focused on not taking oneself too seriously, and from 2009 there has also been a concerted effort to provide the option for bespoke personalised pieces.

For the Ebury's (one of Anya Hindmarch's iconic handbag designs) 10th anniversary, the brand introduced a feature which allowed personal handwritten messages to be embossed inside Ebury bags. By encouraging owners to treasure and pass along their bespoke bags, the brand aims to produce pieces that are the antithesis of throwaway fashion. This type of bespoke service has also helped Anya Hindmarch raise a lot of money for breast cancer charities. Famously, the brand's Be A Bag campaign (which allowed you to have your personal photographs printed onto bags) benefited 31 charities worldwide. Additionally, Anya Hindmarch has achieved great personal success and was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her contribution to British Fashion as a UK trade ambassador. 

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photo by nadiology / CC BY

I think it's important to know all of this about Anya Hindmarch because it tells you a lot about the brand that you're buying into. It's a fast-growing, well-respected and successful business, with ardent fans at home and around the globe. Despite being a relatively new brand, Anya Hindmarch has carved a place for itself in the wardrobes of fashionistas and stylish business-women alike. Personally, I always look forward to Anya Hindmarch's presentations at London Fashion Week, as the brand is particularly adept at striking the fine balance between fashion and fun. However, I also see women much older than myself (and more formally dressed) carrying Anya Hindmarch pieces throughout the streets of London. I consider Anya Hindmarch to be a versatile brand that caters to many tastes, and the evidence suggests that it will continue to grow and prosper.


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