Anya Hindmarch has spent 30 years injecting irreverence into the purse class, bypassing muted tones and delicate shapes in favour of electrical blue Tony the Tiger totes – a part of a Kellogg’s collaboration – and crisp packet-shaped clutches, one in every of which went flying within the infamous Solange and Jay-Z elevator altercation. (Shortly afterwards, Hindmarch posted a mocked-up advert on her eponymous label’s social media channels: “The crisp packet clutch: value combating for,” learn the tagline.) Her luggage exhibit the identical wry humour that imbues her newest providing: three scented candles created in collaboration with perfumer Lyn Harris, titled, “Anya Hindmarch Smells!”
“I got here up with the identify myself,” says Hindmarch, sitting at a desk in her Battersea workplace, flanked by newly minted chief government Francesco Giannaccari, who joined the corporate from Etro in March. The candles are on show beside her. Cartoon-like faces emblazon their containers, and their casings are embellished with pairs of shifty, googly eyes. “And now each display that I cross is individuals engaged on the graphics ‘Anya Smells!’”
The candles are Hindmarch’s first foray into the approach to life equipment sector, and are fittingly irreverent. “They’re to do with recollections, and the sensation you get from a odor. So one was impressed by espresso, which is: Get up! Can do! Let’s do it! You gentle that one, and it places you in that temper. After which there may be the Solar Lotion one, which is the odor of vacation. You already know, when you have got that slight odor of pores and skin when it’s had somewhat little bit of solar on it, while you’ve had a heat summer time’s night,” she explains. ”After which there may be the one which I like. It’s impressed by the odor of child talcum powder, you already know, the odor of a child’s neck after they have simply come out of the tub wrapped in a white towel, which might be pretty much as good because it will get.
And that is not all. “It’s very a lot the start,” she says. “We have now numerous actually fairly odd concepts that can come out.” Each she and Giannaccari stay tight-lipped as to the specifics, however they’ve been no less than partly enabled by Qatari funding agency Mayhoola. The agency has owned a bit of the corporate since 2012, and just lately pumped in an extra £10 million to thrust its growth into different international locations, classes and initiatives like this one.
The growth of Anya Hindmarch is shadowed by a slumping pound, and the hazy implications of Brexit. How does she assume the prevailing political uncertainty will influence her enterprise? A self-defined Thatcherite, her reply is fittingly pragmatic. “There’s some good and a few unhealthy. I might say that the great is that persons are flooding into London. The pound is cheaper,” she says. “Everyone seems to be feeling a bit unsure. It’s not what I wished. However I’ve to say I’m kind of considering there might be some optimistic issues to it. And both means, it’s going to occur, so let’s make the most effective of it.”
Slightly than leaving the EU, it’s the web that the duo see to be concurrently the most important impediment and alternative for his or her business. They’re decided to capitalise on the sweeping adjustments it has induced. “I really assume vogue is being unbelievably old school proper now,” says Hindmarch. “Take into consideration how Apple reinvented the music enterprise. I really assume we’ve got acquired to assume actually in a different way.”
“Agility is essential now,” continues Giannaccari. “The tempo is so fast that you simply actually have to be extra proactive than reactive.” Take, for instance, the latest ramping up of their footwear and ready-to-wear providing. A couple of years in the past, Hindmarch despatched fashions down the catwalk in skeleton fits. For her final present, they wore kitsch, Seventies-style pastel coats, while her web site sells a number of sneakers, extravagantly furry slides, and garments, together with zany roll-necks and sweaters stitched with whimsical cloud motifs. Consequently, there have been mutterings that the label is seeking to fan out totally into vogue.
This doesn’t chime with their technique, although, which relies on one thing of a paradox. To increase, Anya Hindmarch wants to remain small and lithe, so it may nimbly navigate a brand new order, the place manufacturers tackle a much less didactic function, focusing as an alternative on immediacy, the web and speaking with their prospects. “It doesn’t have to be ready-to-wear. It may be three coats,” says Hindmarch. “Why not? Give prospects what they need.”
This a fluid, explicitly fashionable means of working, undoubtedly abetted by the steadiness the model has struck between the power of its area of interest, upbeat id, and its measurement. It may possibly take dangers, quick, as a result of it’s lean sufficient to skirt the sluggish chains of paperwork which may stifle bigger manufacturers. Three a long time of working, and Hindmarch may be very a lot astride the wave of the zeitgeist. “I’m about enjoyable and invention and discovery and playfulness. And I believe in some methods this much less conventional route provides you extra agility. You may shock and delight your buyer, and do one thing a bit off the wall. You’re not tied into these large constructions. Which is type of cool, really.”