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September 2 2014

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Anya Hindmarch Gets Personal

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“I love giving presents, and for me a present that is personalized is in a different league,” explained British accessories designer Anya Hindmarch of the origins of her four-year-old bespoke business. “My dream was to open a store that had all these present ideas in it—and I thought, I’m just going to do it. I didn’t care about any business plan; I just did it because I loved it.”

Yesterday, the first American companion to the original Anya Hindmarch bespoke workshop on London’s Pont Street opened at 795 Madison Avenue—a rustic, antiques-filled two-story space that carries seasonal Hindmarch pieces (like the spotted Domino bags from Fall ’13) on the ground level, and on the second floor, houses a homey craftsman’s workshop, complete with an artist flown in from England to emboss custom scrawlings. “You can write something rude, something funny—and some are very lovely,” quipped Hindmarch about the endless personalization possibilities that can be applied to clutches, vintage jewel cases, iPad cases, etc. Guests can write a message in their own handwriting, and drawings and self-stylized embellishments are also an option.

“What’s interesting about [the bespoke workshop] is it connects the costumer back to craftsmanship and making stories, as opposed to just endlessly wearing the latest It bag, which feels a bit old-fashioned,” said Hindmarch. “It goes back to what luxury is really about—making things you keep.”

The Madison Avenue flagship is the first Anya Hindmarch store to fuse bespoke with the main line. It’s about classic luxury—but isn’t without a little fun: A customized pretzel cart will welcome the shop’s first visitors with bow-shaped snacks all week. Take a look inside the shop in our exclusive video, above.

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