British accessories designer Anya Hindmarch, best known for her tongue-in-cheek designs and playful approach to fashion, is spending her lockdown at home in London with her husband and three of her five children. Far from bored, Hindmarch is busy working to help the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, lift the spirits of the British public stuck at home, manage her business, and launch a new sustainability initiative. Here, Hindmarch gives us an intimate look inside her family home.
Hindmarch’s original idea to give thanks to the National Health Service in the U.K. was a redo of her 2018 Chubby Hearts campaign—in NHS blue—in which she suspended 24 extra-large red hearts at monuments throughout London. She quickly realized this would defeat the purpose for two reasons: “It would require people to install it, and it would cause people to congregate,” she says. Instead, she’s worked with her team to digitally alter the color of the hearts and launch a new Blue Chubby Heart each week on social media.
Hindmarch has been involved in the production of thousands of gowns and scrubs for the NHS hospitals, both through the British Fashion Council (of which Hindmarch is the non-executive director) and her own business. And at the request of Professor Hugh Montgomery—a professor of medicine and the director of Human Health and Performance at the University College London—she designed and manufactured “holsters” for ICU doctors and nurses to go over their PPE that can hold their glasses, phones, a pen, and money for a cup of coffee. The holsters are being delivered to ICUs all over the U.K., including the NHS Nightingale Hospitals, built especially for patients of COVID-19. “I like designing something like that, in a way,” says Hindmarch, “because it’s purely about function.”
Usually a frequent traveler, these days she most often works at her kitchen table. Hindmarch has been consistently putting in 12-hour days since the lockdown started to get her business organized, make sure her employees are safe, and do what she can to support doctors and nurses. She sits in front of a Churchill print by Conrad Leach. “I just love the strength and the Britishness of it,” she says. The piece is hung on a strip of wall in Hindmarch’s kitchen that operates as a large, open-face guest book.
With three of her five children at home, there has been constant activity in the house. To wind down, Hindmarch has been making Americano cocktails or “anything with Campari, really,” she says, and trying to read an assortment of books she’s assigned herself to finish by the end of summer. She’s most looking forward to reading Circadian Rhythms by Professor Russell Foster, about sleep and its effect on the brain, and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, about older age. She’s halfway through Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough, about the supply chain, something Hindmarch feels passionately about.