- Gianluca Longo
February is fashion month, and also the month of Love. Valentine’s Day is only around the corner, and from today the search for the best gift is on! I am very keen on personalised presents, and I think Anya Hindmarch is one of the best labels to offer such a service. Her style for bags and small leather goods is already unique. Then, on all the gifts, you can add love themed messages and thoughts. That makes the whole process of choosing the present even more special: names, handwritten messages, drawings can all be embossed into the leather by the AH craftsmen, and every piece will arrive in its own box, hand tooled with the recipient’s name and beautifully wrapped. Anya’s designs are made with love, she’s really passionate about her work, from the impeccable quality to the quirky styles, that always have a touch of humour. On a day like Valentine's, a bit of humour won't hurt…
I saw Anya recently and we had a fun time with my questionnaire exclusively for Motilo:
When did you make your first bag?
When I was three years old, made out of paper.
Why did you want to do fashion?
Because I am fascinated by it and how it makes you feel.
What or who inspires you?
A thousand things and people, but my mother was no doubt a big influence. I loved her style when I was growing up in the '70s, and I always find inspiration in architecture and chocolate!
Who was your first fashion role model?
London is the city where you live. Is it an essential part of your designs?
Yes. I feel that I am British through and through, and this city is so diverse and creative. You can do almost anything in this city. Also it has the incredible mix of history, historic architecture and traditions as well as cutting edge art and design. This makes it pretty unique.
What is your favorite holiday destination?
I love to travel, and as I often travel to cities for work, I like to explore islands and the coast for my holidays. I have recently been to Pantelleria between Sicily and Tunisia, Tangiers in Africa and Mustique which is always fun.
Where would be the most unexpected place to carry an AH bag?
Space, maybe?! I have no idea! But that said, it could be kind of cool to have an AH bag in space. I could give the bag its own gravity field so you wouldn't lose it!
Who would you like to see wearing a AH bag that hasn’t worn yet?
My son. Surely one out of the four has to be gay?!
Do you go for high heels or flats?
Both. Love heels but both are essential, especially when running through an airport.
Where do you shop?
When I travel, mainly. I like to find things that are not everywhere.
Your worst fashion nightmare?
Anything that wears you.
Your favourite thing in the world?
Hmmm. Being in bed with my ipad (and my husband...)
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
None. I have too many emails to read as it is. But of the three I think Instagram is more fun, and I think pictures speak a thousand words.
Have you got a website you check religiously every day?
I read the Business of Fashion. But precious little time otherwise, sadly.
What’s your favorite shop in the world?
Madini, a scent shop in Tangiers.
Colour that makes you happiest?
The most relaxing place?
My kitchen table with friends.
What is your favorite dish?
I am soup crazy at the moment! Homemade soup with rice cakes and cheese!
Your worst flaw?
My kids say I have OCD!
Your best wish?
That our ambitious LFW show plans come to life!
Well, the last two presentations you had at London Fashion Week had quirky and fun themes: a chocolate factory style bag-catwalk and a paper merry-go-round in an eccentric home. Can you tell us what’s cooking for the next one?
I would have to kill you if I told you, and I like you too much for that. But it is a little mad… watch this space.
What’s the funniest/silliest thing about yourself?
I would label everything if I could, including my kids. I am label mad. I think it comes with the OCD!
Your pet would be a cat, a dog or a goldfish?
Neither. I prefer children to pets and I have enough of those to not want pets..!
Valentine's day is around the corner… how will you declare your love this year?
When you have been married for 17 years, Valentine's Day feels rather corny. Hopefully a night off and a good bottle of wine.