Hindmarch to March for Empire

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Published January 9, 2009

Not since the Spanish Armada has something challenged British honor like the continent-sized accumulation of plastics bags gathering forces in the Pacific Ocean. To her service her Majesty has called Anya Hindmarch, one of accessories’ most respected designers and creator of the environmentally conscious “I Am Not A Plastic Bag” bag. Queen Elizabeth II will officially appoint Hindmarch as MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire. One imagines that on top of the designer’s eco-stealth tactics, the Queen also supports Hindmarch’s current 70s revival—her Majesty’s signature look prevails!

It was twenty years ago, when Hindmarch was just 19 years old, that she first imported the Italian love of leather back home to Britain. With a simple bow as her logo, the last two decades have been quite a gift for the British bag brand: heavy hitters like Kate, Claudia, and Reese carry her squashy over-the-shoulder totes and 80,000 of her “I Am Not A Plastic Bag” sold in one day—and they still draws guffaws from West Village moms out for a Sunday stroll. Not to mention her Target diffusion line, which used the same trapezoidal shapes and dramatic looped handles as the real deal and sold out online in two whole minutes. Though the designer called the announcement a “pinch me” moment, Hindmarch is the woman who designed Vanity Fair‘s famed Oscar bags in 2006—the Queen of England shouldn’t be anything she can’t handle.