Ever Wanted To Design Your Own Bag? Anya Hindmarch’s Build A Bag Comes To Dublin…

Build a Bag launches at BROWN THOMAS this week and it’s a wonderful way to create an INDIVIDUAL PERSONALISED BAG that’s REMARKABLY LUXURIOUS

 

If you’ve ever had creative urges to design your own handbag, now’s the time to indulge. Anya Hindmarch’s Build a Bag concept has just arrived in Dublin, at the Marvel Room in Brown Thomas, and it’s a way to create an individual personalised bag that’s remarkably luxurious. Choose from a range of sizes, shapes and colours for a start, and then add your choice of straps and handles, accessories and add-ons, from shearling handles to smiley face key fobs. It can be as serious or as fun and colourful as you like, with Hindmarch’s signature fried egg and rainbow stickers plus tassels all in good demand. An upbeat way to put your own signature on your wardrobe, on a bag that will last forever.

We spoke to Hindmarch exclusively as Build a Bag launches in Dublin…

On personalisation and customising …

“Our brand has always had playfulness at its heart together with craftsmanship and personalisation. With Build a Bag, you get to play with the ingredients, and make something that’s entirely your own – with almost no wait time until it’s in your hands! As shoppers we’ve never wanted instant gratification more and I think the appeal of Build a Bag possibly comes down to people not wanting to be the same as everyone else anymore.

I love beautiful things and won’t compromise on quality. This bag is made from the most expensive full bodied but very soft leather. Its simplicity is its beauty and as a consequence it falls really well and moulds to your body but with this beautiful and rich simplicity, it is fun to mess it up. Like my friend who would always have a charm tied on a ribbon to her father’s wristwatch that she wore. It makes it yours and can make a beautiful and seriously made piece light-hearted, I love this irreverent approach combined with absolute quality. For me the two attributes deliver more than the sum of the individual parts. Build a Bag has been on a global tour from New York to Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul – I’m very excited and really quite honoured about its Irish debut, exclusively at Brown Thomas Dublin!”

My typical day…

“If you can believe it, we are already finalising the Autumn/Winter 2018 collection. Time, I think, is one of life’s biggest luxuries, I wish I had more! I have work commitments most evenings, with no time (or honestly, will) for exercise and when I don’t the only thing I want to do is head home which, when I can, feels so decadent. Instead every Monday and Wednesday morning I meet one of my dearest friends who lives near me and we go for a walk around Battersea Park. Our route is 45 minutes and we talk about anything and everything! I then head to work. My studio is in Battersea – only a ten-minute drive across Chelsea Bridge. On a sunny day the views cannot be beaten, the Thames, Battersea Power Station and London’s beautiful bridges. Our studio is an old stable block and brewery, it is wonderfully light and open plan and even though we are almost 90 people at HQ, walking to my office I get the chance to say a big group good morning before dumping my bags and heading straight into meetings for the rest of day. I’m lucky to have the most wonderful team – we call ourselves the AH family. We have fun doing what we do but work incredibly hard too – laughter is our lifeblood at AH HQ, which I think comes through in the product. Laughter and cake!”

One well-kept London secret…

London Cabmen’s Shelters are quite wonderful tiny green wooden huts dotted over central London. They have been around since 1875, all to make sure cabbies could get a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea. Only 13 of them are open today, true London gems, and they are all Grade II listed buildings – as they should be. Whilst the shelters don’t allow non-taxi drivers in you can order through a hatch, worth it as they serve the best bacon sandwiches and mugs of tea. The perfect English breakfast. There’s one opposite the Albert Hall where if you’re very nice to them, they might even let you in, or there’s one near my bespoke store in Pont Street.”

When visiting Ireland…

“I’m a big believer in feeding your brain, it’s important to get out there and see things. When I have time I love to walk through the wonderful architecture of Trinity College and at the end of a long work day I always look forward to returning to Number 31 – I always stay here when visiting Dublin. It’s set in a beautiful Georgian townhouse, and the staff are so warm and the rooms very welcoming. I would love to explore Ireland properly with my family – Galway is high on my list.”

On fun with high fashion…

“What you wear can absolutely transform your mood. I think that fashion should make you smile even if it’s in a discrete way. Playfulness when combined with beautiful craftsmanship has been at the heart of every collection since we began 30 years ago. A really good example is how seasonally we are inspired by everyday familiar items and transform them using beautiful materials in our workshops in Italy to make them in the most luxurious way. Our Crisp Packet clutch quite literally was inspired by a packet of Walkers ready salted crisps. We 3D-scanned the perfect packet using up to 100 cameras mounted on tripods to take 360 degree photos – it was quite exciting to see it in action. Then we took the scanned models and cast them and worked with the most amazing second generation minaudière maker in Florence. It is very complicated as it is completely asymmetrical and took many goes to get right. It was a real labour of love but it is a perfect little clutch and actually a little piece of art. It is really modern, and a sort of forever classic I think. It also has a chain so you can wear it over your shoulder too.

For SS18 you’ll see the kebab box has been given an AH makeover – it’s a beautiful piece and I think really quite funny. You may notice the strong food thread, we are fashion people that eat!”

On my bedside table…

“I’m sorry to admit it’s my email.”

Anya Hindmarch Build a Bags start from €995, with accessories starting at €95.

As told to Sarah Halliwell.

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