How to get ahead: Anya Hindmarch

Anya Hindmarch “The most important thing I’ve learned over the years is: don’t lose sight of who will wear your designs. Don’t get carried away by what others think, as often their views are about art and not sales, and sadly sales are what is required to fund your art.”
[Anya Hindmarch, quoted in ‘Grazia’ magazine January 18, 2010]

Anya Hindmarch


A sticky one this. Applying Anya’s advice to novels, should we focus on our readers rather than the story? It sounds suspiciously like writing-to-a-formula to me. There has to be a middle way for an author, of writing the story you want to tell in a way you hope your readers will want to read it. If you focus only on what sells, what is trending, you run the risk of trying to write what is popular now and finishing it after the trend has moved on.

So, write what is true to yourself.

What’s the best advice about writing you’ve ever been given?

For Anya Hindmarch’s website, click here.
Don’t know who Anya Hindmarch is? Read this article in the Daily Telegraph about the handbag designer.

Try these tips to get ahead:-
Donna Karan
Gail Rebuck
Kate Silverton

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Don’t lose sight of your customer: advice from #fashion designer @anyahindmarch via @SandraDanby #amwriting


  1. It think the best single piece of advice is simply to write, much and often, so that you improve. And to sustain that ongoing level of time and energy commitment then I guess it needs to involve something you’re invested in, that you feel you can develop into something good and worthwhile. That probably amounts to much the same thing as being true to yourself. That said, Anya Hindmarch has a point about sales and producing what people will want, and I don’t think a writer who wants to sell books – and especially if they want to make some kind of living from it – can ignore that. So I guess the ideal solution is to find a writing project that seems to satisfy both criteria: something you really believe and can invest in, but also you have reason to believe might sell.

    • sandradan1

      Absolutely, Christopher. Self-belief is something that successful people have, whatever their skill, but particularly in the creative arts. SD