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LONDON — Anya Hindmarch’s new line, Anya Hindmarch Bespoke, will give her clients a chance to dip their toes into the designer’s creative process. The luxe collection is filled with clutch bags, leather wallets, notebooks and silk-lined trinket boxes, all of which can be personalized according to customers’ every whim.
This story first appeared in the August 31, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
During an interview at her London showroom, Hindmarch described the Bespoke collection, which has been in planning for two-and-a-half years, as the culmination of “a lifetime of ideas.” “My heart’s in every one of these pieces,” she said.
Indeed, many of the items in the 100-piece collection have stemmed from presents Hindmarch has made for friends and family over the years, such as a crocodile skin wallet embossed with a handwritten message in gold leaf she designed for her husband, or a leather key ring that holds a memory stick loaded with photos of a friend’s vacation. “It’s getting to the roots of what I truly like to do,” said the designer.
Pieces in the line — most of which is made up of entirely new designs — run from leather bound, two-way journals with personalized sections, leather travel folios with personalized pockets and made-to-measure wallets, through to canvas tote bags printed with customers’ initials, crocodile clutch bags with engraved clasps and bespoke jewelry cases. Hindmarch said the line will appeal to both her existing Anya Hindmarch customers and those “who want to give a wonderful present.”
The designer believes it’s the right time to launch a collection of “utterly personal” products. “It goes back to all those [ideas] of longevity and lack of waste, because it’s something you have forever. If you’re going to buy something, buy something you really, really love — that is proper luxury,” said Hindmarch, adding she believes customers have tired of cookie-cutter accessories designs. “I think if you start to cheat your customer you’ll lose out quite quickly. Your customers are not stupid.”
To wit, Hindmarch said she’s paid particular attention to the details in the collection — she’s used leathers developed for the label by Tanneries Roux in France, which also works with Hermès and Louis Vuitton, and added quirky vintage touches to some of the designs. Evening bags have miniature dance cards hidden in their pockets, while a travel folio comes with a St. Christopher card and some wallets have a pocket embossed with the words “Penny For Luck.”
The line will launch exclusively at the designer’s Pont Street, Knightsbridge store Sept. 15, which she’s converting into an Anya Hindmarch Bespoke boutique, where some of the pieces will be made and finished. “It will be like the workshop,” said Hindmarch. “It will be more of a retail space, but it will have the same feel.” She eventually plans to launch the bespoke collection online, too.
Customers will be able to choose from several levels of personalization, from having a simple message embossed on a leather product in Hindmarch’s Bespoke font or their own handwriting, through to creating a wallet design almost from scratch. Retail prices for the line will run from 65 pounds, or $105, for a leather key-ring to 6,500 pounds, or $10,500, for a large Bespoke Ebury bag in crocodile skin. Hindmarch said she’d made sure to include a range of prices in the line. “I want [it] to sell because it’s fun to make things,” said Hindmarch, who added she hasn’t planned sales predictions for the collection.
“I actually haven’t thought about it commercially at all, which is probably really dangerous,” said the designer. “[But] strangely, every time I’ve done projects where I’ve done something I really passionately care about, they tend to work quite well.”