Photo: Condenast

There was no escaping it when the videotape of Solange Knowles beating rapper Jay Z in an elevator leaked – and accessory designer Anya Hindmarch quickly found herself in the spotlight over the incident – because it was her clutch that Solange had in her hand as she lashed out. Anya jokes that the bag is now “a little broken” but generally she isn’t excited by the buzz created by star names:

“That’s probably why it’s a little broken then… I am not very excited by celebrities. It’s the craftsmen who drive me, they are the absolute celebrities in my book. But of course it makes it reasonably iconic.”

Speaking on her work as a designer, Anya comments that she likes to be able to inspire other people by her success story and loves to see others motivated to be creative. She thinks these days, creative work is being seen as a far more serious line of work and she is glad to be contributing:

“Role model is a terrifying thought… I think I need to be more grown up for that. But in terms of inspiring people to start businesses, I really care about business, the arts, and the creative industries, which I think traditionally have been maligned. I think now there is much more of a voice. We are talking about the creative industries being a really serious sector. It is not just frilly, it is proper nuts and bolts business.”

Anya pulled out as CEO of the business in 2011 and appointed James McArthur to take over the role. She explains that leaving the business side has given her more focus:

“I was on it 100 per cent before and I am probably on it 150 per cent now if that makes sense. That has always been my first love. It’s fair to say I never took my eye off the ball, I couldn’t. But I think the fact is that we are spread over lots of different countries and trying to get into the corners of all those places is really hard. It’s enabled me to spend more time there. It gives us more manpower.”