LONDON — Anya Hindmarch has finally made her mark on Bond Street, and now the British accessories designer wants to move the business into top gear with help from investor Kelso Place Asset Management.
Hindmarch opened her third store here last week at 118 Bond Street, across from Fenwicks department store. A fourth London unit is to launch at 157-158 Sloane Street on Dec. 1, followed by 16 more shops worldwide by March in cities from Las Vegas and Moscow to Shanghai and Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Bond Street store spans 1,500 square feet, and Sloane Street — next door to Chloé in a former flower shop — will cover 2,000 square feet. The two shops are projected to generate 3 million pounds, or $6.3 million, in first-year sales, the company said.
Both feature an updated design: Art Deco-inspired black-and-white floor tiles, cream carpeting, gray marble in the dressing rooms, silver and glass haberdashery cabinets and white club chairs.
The Bond Street store is the sort of place where Cole Porter would have felt right at home — and it's almost a surprise that staff isn't serving dry martinis with the bespoke Ebury bags and buttery leather gloves. The ground floor stocks the main collection, in addition to gloves, shoes and a small collection of A-line, puff-sleeve winter coats and sleek fur jackets.
The basement is dedicated to bespoke items, such as Hindmarch's legendary Be A Bag and Ebury ranges. A vast skylight illuminates the stairs between the two floors.
"We've raised our heads above the parapet," Hindmarch said in an interview. "Our other London stores — on Pont Street and Ledbury Road — are slightly off the main street, but now we're in the center of town."
Although she might not be serving up dry martinis, the designer said she has tried to improve service at the new London stores: There's a customer menu offering tea, coffee and Anya Hindmarch logo cookies, as well as a bespoke service for day and evening bags and small leather goods.
The timing is good for a retail rollout, Hindmarch said.
"I started in this business when I was 18 years old, and over the past three, four years it's grown exponentially," the 38-year-old designer said. "We're experiencing massive momentum. It's the right time for us and for the brand. And, hey, you're only young once."A company spokeswoman said the worldwide success of Hindmarch's latest "I'm not a plastic bag" cotton canvas bags raised brand awareness worldwide.
"It was a limited edition project that ended in July of this year, and the whole point was to get the idea across that plastic bags are not fashionable," the spokeswoman said.
Hindmarch retains a majority stake in the business that she founded in her London apartment in 1991. Kelso Place Asset Management holds the remaining shares. In September 2006, when Kelso Place took its stake, the company was valued at 20 million pounds, or $42 million at current exchange.
Hindmarch will have 40 stores worldwide as of Dec. 1. However, the Pont Street unit in London will close after the January sales, leaving Hindmarch with three London shops.
The units in the U.K. and U.S. are wholly owned. In other markets, the designer tends to work with local partners: The Moscow store will be housed at the department store TSUM, in partnership with the Mercury Group; in Southeast Asia, Hindmarch works with the Pedder Group, and in the Middle East she works with Villa Moda.
In addition, the brand has relaunched its Web site, anyahindmarch.com. It features 360-degree photography, gift assistance and personal shopping and a VIP area where customers can preorder seasonal items and receive inside information.
Though the designer is busy with her retail operations worldwide, she has been receiving accolades in her home country. Hindmarch has been nominated for Accessory Designer of the Year and Designer of the Year at the annual British Fashion Awards, which will be Nov. 27. She is the first nonclothing designer to be nominated for Designer of the Year.
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