Anya Hindmarch gets £10m boost as it eyes further expansion

British fashion brand Anya Hindmarch has received £10m of investment from its Qatari investor Mayhoola For Investments to spearhead its expansion into shoes, clothes and new countries.

Anya Hindmarch SS18 collection - Photo: Anya Hindmarch

The brand, best known for its colourful and witty handbags, has been ramping up growth by expanding beyond the UK and Europe and has recently entered the shoe market.

Accounts seen by The Daily Telegraph show sales increased by 20% to £41.3m last year, boosted by the business’ also nascent clothing offering. Handbags and coats featuring the cartoon space invader theme helped drive strong sales growth in the category, according to the newspaper.

And while other British luxury brands are taking a more cautious approach in the post EU referendum environment, Anya Hindmarch is determined to find “positives”.

“Brexit is going to happen, so we just have to get on with it and embrace it," she told The Telegraph. "There will be currency knocks [from a weaker pound] but that makes our London shops more attractive to overseas shoppers. We don’t just focus on Brexit and Europe, there is the whole world to explore and we are pretty pleased with how our growth is going.”

China is emerging as an important market for the brand, with one of its ‘googly eye’ handbag designs selling out after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon film star Zhang Ziyi was seen wearing the bag.

“We think that the craftsman of our products are the real heroines of our brand and people can be overly obsessive about celebrities, but we are of course incredibly lucky to have them because they bring visibility and influence, and are still a huge pull for many people," said Hindmarch.

The founder is currently in talks to open franchise stores in China, following the signing of franchise agreements in Saudi Arabia and South Korea last year. It has also recently opened new stores in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore.

The investment in new stores and an overhaul of its website and mobile apps resulted in losses before taxation increasing to £11.8m last year from £8.6m in 2015. The brand is increasingly looking at enhancing its online experience and blurring the lines between physical and online retail to create a more compelling shopping experience.

"Speed and ease of access is another form of luxury and one that we're exploring," said the brand’s founder.

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