Designer Anya Hindmarch

When summer hits, we become obsessed with light accessories that don’t seem to take themselves too seriously (yes, accessories do have feelings like you and me). Every bag Anya Hindmarch creates is as delicious as the next, and it’s probably because they’re so playful. Of course, Hindmarch herself is also playful, so there was no better time than the present to find out her advice to her younger self, how she used Kit Kats and Polo Mints to inspire her AW15 collection and why fig gelato is the way to cap off your ideal food day…

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From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

I’d start with two boiled eggs and soldiers (naughty!) with a large mug of Builder’s tea! Lunch would be of the sushi variety. For supper it would be at home with my children around the kitchen table for my husband’s infamous Roast Chicken – the full works with Yorkshire puddings and perfectly crisp roasted potatoes. My mouth is watering talking of it. Utter heaven. Flowing red wine and a giant scoop (or three) of fig gelato to finish it all off.

What’s your morning and nightly beauty regimen?

I keep it very simple, a gentle cleanser and light moisturizer every morning and night. I love the Sisley Sisleÿa Global Anti-Age Cream. I also always apply a little perfume, from a 400-year-old scent shop in Madini – they will create a personal perfume blended to your taste. It comes in a beautiful small bottle allowing you to roll on the fragrance. I cherish the unbranded nature of it. I’m obsessed with craftsmanship and meeting those who create all these wonderful things we purchase.

Five things you’re coveting right now…

A new box of pencils – the yellow mechanical ones with the twisty tips are my favorite. I have been flying a lot for work recently; I quite love the idea of noise-cancelling headphones. A holiday and a glass of wine!

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

Anything and everything! Truly. From people, art, and architecture to chocolate! A recent collection was inspired by a children’s toy that caught my eye in Aoyama airport. It was a levitating globe powered by magnets, and I couldn’t resist buying it. As a result, the AW14 collection was all about the idea of weightlessness. The show was called ‘Out of this World.’ Models and light as a feather handbags were gravity defying, flying above the heads of the audience. The bags were a luxury take on space junk, from crisp packets and python versions of the infamous ‘Have a Nice Day’ plastic shoppers.

The first thing you notice about a handbag…

Is she smiling?

What’s always in your bag? 

My life! But although big, it is tidy. My children think I’m OCD. I love a label, which perhaps stems back to school when our names were stitched onto our gym kits. We have a collection of labeled items which create a place for everything, from ‘Cables and Chargers’ to ensure my phone always has juice, ‘Girlie Stuff’ for lip balm and some secret concealer to ‘Remedies’ for emergency Nurofen. I use them religiously.

Why is it important to you that your customers have their names on their bags and not yours? 

We have two parts to our business – the fashion side, which is what we have a runway show for (yes you read correctly, a runway show for handbags!). This is a seasonal collection that we recently launched in Barneys. Then we have bespoke, which is very special to me. Bespoke is not a fashion collection but made up of special items that seal a moment in time. We work with our customers to create pieces that will be handed down through generations. You can find and customize anything from handbags to seating planners (The Dunstone) with embossing or drawings in your own handwriting, which is rather brilliant when children do it. There are also items, which you can build from scratch, from wallets to handbags. We have craftsmen and their workshops on site in our bespoke stores. It’s my way of reconnecting the customer with how things are made. Bespoke is about the person receiving it, rather than me.

Do you think it’s a miss when designers are focused on having their logo on everything? 

I think it’s wonderful and important for there to be so much choice for customers. Wouldn’t it be such a bore if we all created, liked and wore the same thing?

Best memory from your first store in London…

My first customers walking up the stairs of my second floor store (when I couldn’t afford a first floor one.)

What do you think of brick and mortar shopping versus e-commerce? Is it important for stores to become more technological?

I think there is absolutely a place and need for both.

What’s a go to recipe for you when eating in? 

My husband’s cooking!

What are parallels you see between food and fashion?

You are talking to someone who has taken the Kit Kat and Polo Mints, given them a luxury treatment and turned them into bags for AW15!

Best advice you’ve ever received…

‘Happy parents make for happy kids,’ the only child rearing advice my brilliant Mother-in-law has ever given me.

Advice you’d give your younger self…

Things come of things. So, if you do things, things happen. If you drop a pebble in a puddle of water, you get ripples. If you throw energy at things, you get energy back.

Advice to women being hard on themselves when looking in the mirror in the morning…

If in doubt, wash your hair! It always makes you feel better.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

London, of course! I love the green wooden taxi shelters dotted around London; you don’t notice them until someone tells you. They are very British and wonderful. I love anything by the very brilliant Corbin & King. Their new addition Fischer’s in Marylebone is perfect.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ what’s ‘the new potato’ in accessories? 

Stickers! But then I’m bias.

*Anya Hindmarch, photographed at Egg Shop in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.