With the launch of her Build a Bag concept, Anya Hindmarch fully realizes her longtime obsession with customization. The British designer has long offered keychains, stickers, and patches to complement her handbag designs, but now she takes it a step further by allowing you to choose from a capsule collection of handles, straps, and decorative accessories when creating your personalized bucket bag. The best part? You don’t have to wait to take your custom bag home with you—it’s immediate gratification.

Barneys Fashion Director Marina Larroudé and Anya Hindmarch explore the Build a Bag capsule instillation at Barneys Madison Avenue.

We caught up with Hindmarch, who came to New York to launch the special Build a Bag space at our Madison Avenue store, and her joy was contagious as she walked us through the endless possibilities that the concept provides. “You can essentially take a classically beautiful, well-made bag and give it a subtle touch of humor, or you can go all out with fluorescent shearling strap and mink cherry charms,” she said. “And, once you have the base, you can switch it up throughout its life.”

Anya Hindmarch Build a Bag

Hindmarch, who started her career in Florence where she fell in love with beautiful craftsmanship, has always had a knack for combining quality with humor. “The thing that I’ve always loved is taking the most incredible craftsmanship and beautiful materials and combining them with a slightly irrelevant sense of humor. Life doesn’t need to be taken too seriously, and it’s quite nice to wear an accessory that feels a bit fun and different—a bit I don’t care too much.”

Anya Hindmarch Build a Bag bucket

Whether visiting the in-store space or ordering online, the process is simple: You choose from two sizes of the bucket bag, large or small, and decide on one or two handles (shoulder bag vs tote style). Then the real fun begins as you add texture and color via handle, long strap, key chains, and charms galore. This being Anya Hindmarch, the options—which include signature eggs in mink and hand-embroidered straps featuring Space Invaders characters—are far from boring. “The bag itself is easy and light. It’s made from the caviar of leather, just as buttery as you can get,” says Hindmarch with genuine delight. “It’s about the joy of the simplicity of the skin and shape, with the pleasure of the choice to be as playful as you want.”

Anya Hindmarch has long valued bespoke and customization options, but this particular idea came to her via a chic girlfriend who used to tie ribbons and charms to her grandfather’s watch that she always wore. “I loved that it was this very beautiful, traditional, and respectfully made piece, and she did something so fun with it.”

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