Slow on the Bespoke Uptake

A personalised leather envelope and card holder from Belgian label Delvaux and a grey leather Dunhill evelope with my initials are the sort of things that make me mighty happy these days.  It's the sort of happiness that is slightly frightening as I know that I'm approaching that age when sturdy, well-made things (that also depressingly come with a haughty price tag) are becoming more and more appealing.  Who knew that day would come when ten years ago, I mocked my mother's leather bags and thought my faux fur backpack was the best thing EVA…



This is old news for those of you that are very grown-up and swan around Knightsbridge dropping wads of cash here and there, so please ignore if you've seen this all before.  Said Knightsbridge regulars better not laugh at me either because today was my first discovery of Anya Hindmarch Bespoke line as they have popped up at Selfridges for six weeks with a shop that looks more like a permanent space than a temporary pop-off venture.  With my complete non-plussed-ness over bags, all things Hindmarch probably floats over my head so even though Anya Hindmarch opened up her Bespoke store on Pont Street in London two years ago, it's not a place I've ventured before (this video is a GREAT overview/intro).

Good on Selfridges Oxford Street for planting a compact Anya Hindmarch Bespoke space at the department store for six weeks, so that yobs like me get to gawp at all the customised, engraved and personalised leather goodies that I have a penchant for copping a feel and getting a whiff of.  Hindmarch was there herself today and she joked that if she died, she wouldn't mind having her ashes sprinkled over her Bespoke store and I can see what she means from just seeing this pop-up space.  In this vaguely Victorian, vaguely English, distinctly old-looking set-up are a slew of little delightful surprises that unfold, reveal themselves and are pleasingly discreet…

The main diffentiation between AH Bespoke and a lot of the customisation/personalisation options that high-end brands offer is that often you're just limited to initials your name in fonts that are pre-selected.  At Bespoke, if you can doodle, write and draw your message/inscription clearly enough, anything goes basically…

Oh and not to be stereotypical to think all mothers mend clothes but honestly this sewing kit box needs to be given to some mothers out there this Sunday.  At the very least it will get you a "Awwww!  That's so SWEET that you THOUGHT that I would sew your buttons back on for you…  Now bugger off and get me my proper pressie…"


Drinking money is of course important to prioritise in a wallet…


Each wallet comes with a lucky penny because… "see a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck…" as spoken by the sage Frenchie in Grease…


I love how there's a compartment for mints in the Ebury Travel bag… ever so useful after you've huffed a bowl of Chinese dumplings and get the meat burps…


The beauty of being able to doodle your text is that any language is possible…


In this box case, which I think is the perfect size for holding credit card, Blackberry and Canon S95, you can also print the lining with a photo of your choice…



I know you're supposed to be all creative and come up with your own messages but I really loved the examples that they had in store… such as digs at Apple…


… as well as some wordplay on iPad on this iPad case (STILL thinking about getting one…)


There's a lovely J.M. Barrie quote on the corner here that sums up the everlasting appeal of Bespoke keepsakes… "God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December."


I love that even tawdry bachelor parties can have a beautiful leather-clad item attached to them, such as this USB stick holder…


More traditional personalised thoroughfare such as journals, sketchbooks and notebads are the sort of luxuries that I'm now finding myself increasingly swayed by…


These Ultimate boxes are the modern take on an apothecary's chest with nooks, crannies and secreted spaces for you to explore and dedicate to whatever you like, be it newborns, weddings or just because you want a box that is literally labelled with 'Bits' and 'Bobs'…




The process depends on what you want done but in general it takes two weeks to have plates made up for you to customise your goods.  They give you a template for you to take home and really think about what you want to say on your wallet, journal etc lest you think on the spot and come up with cheeseball phrases like "I'll love you forever and ever and ever…" and spank money on said cheesiness…




I did get my other half a little something-something because this is all right up Steve's street and because I tend to shower him with gifts to make up for the fact that I've been travelling around a lot – yes I'm a monster for buying affection.  I'm still pondering what exactly it will say though…

Hopefully I'm not the last person on the planet to discover what Anya Hindmarch Bespoke is all about.  In any case, the Bespoke service will soon be rolled out online on the website so that everyone can have a go at thinking up witty one-liners for their beloved ones…


27 Replies to “Slow on the Bespoke Uptake”

  1. I walk past this every day on my way to work! I’m thinking about getting my mum something bespoke from here and was JUST thinking about it this morning. Am with you the ‘growing up’ thing – why do they all have to come so expensive though?? Probably because it’s actually good!

  2. I have been a fan of Anya Hindmarch for years and I covet her bespoke pieces. I love all the pockets and all the labels on the pockets. It makes me feel organized even when my life is total chaos and I am lurching from on thing to the other. Only another working mom, like Anya, could come up with such a great concept.

  3. Susieeeeeeee!!! Just a general comment to say that i love your blog, your frequent updates..Moving to the Uk this summer to start a carreer, fingers crossed in fashion (styling) and hope to meet you in some occasion..Any tips from where to start? I was thinking about Topshoppersoal stylist, as I need to eran some money soon as well when I come to the Uk.

  4. I am glad that bespoke fashion is still in fashion. I have always admired it and like finding bespoke pieces at the thrift store because no one knows what they are!

  5. oh my god i love everything about everything about everything in this post!
    one day when i win the lottery, i am going there!! ha
    january, x

  6. Good to see so many fans of Anya here!
    Lucy: Take the plunge!
    Jessica: Good point about Anya’s position as a working mother… I’m getting to that age where ordering of chaos is needed!
    Dan: Yeah, it’s going to be difficult to earn money doing fashion styling jobs. It’s hard enough getting free internships! If you have a work visa, then by all means, go for Topshop Personal Stylist… other than that, i would recommend doing work experience… not paid but it’s better to do that than something unrelated to what you want to do…
    Margief: Hopefully I’ll have that effect on someone when I give my Bespoke item to him…!

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