The Handbook
The Handbook

Handbagier to the stars, Anya Hindmarch is launching a village. Well, ‘village’. If cutting ribbons for a living qualified Prince Charles to build Poundbury, then who’s to say that sewing leather doesn’t give you license to lay the foundation stone on London’s newest village. Well, ‘village’. And it’s actually getting us rather exciting.

Potentially over-egging it, it’s a hamlet at best, the village in question will be five Anya Hindmarch shoes, gathered around the handbag maker’s spiritual home on Chelsea’s Pont Street. And it’ll be a chance for Hindmarch to try out concepts she’s been longing to experiment with for years. And, the good news is, there really will be something for everyone and you don’t need to leave with a thousand pound handbag to participate, you can just buy some biscuits.

Image: Anya Hindmarch

There’s a theory in retail that the more shops you build at a crossroads the more money you’ll make. Starbucks has proved that a Starbucks on each corner of an ‘intersection’ makes four times the money, rather than the public spreading the amount one store would make across all four.

You don't need to leave with a thousand pound handbag to participate, you can just buy some biscuits...

For Hindmarch, though, the stores won’t be identical. The plan is that alongside the usual handbagerie, there will sit a hair salon, within “The Village Hall”, The Plastic Store (where you can buy the famous I Am Not a Plastic Bag tote), The Labelled Store (where you can buy Hindmarch’s system of cases and bags that are (surprise!) labelled to help you organise. Plus The Bespoke Store, which is the original Anya Hindmarch store.

It’s one of the first big moves from inspirational founder Hindmarch, who recently bought back into the brand bearing her name and now re-owns half the business and is both Chief Executive and Creative Director.

The café, in particular, should become something of a hub. Intended to be the heart of the village, the Anya Café will be open between eight in the morning and eight in the evening for dining in or for takeaways. Serving breakfast, lunch and early evening drinks, as well as cakes and biscuits, the aim is to channel old-school British cafés. Expect high quality ingredients and ‘trademark Anya humour’.

The whole village launches in time for 17th May. It’s a smart move, especially with some brilliant deals available on rents right now, and we can’t wait to head down and experience it.

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