Just in time for fall, HANIA by Anya Cole brings us ultra plush, ultra comfy, ultra warm, cashmere sweaters that you wish you could live in all day, errday. Designed and hand made in the New York, HANIA's sweaters are built for survival against the cold city winds while keeping the hearts of urbanites warm. Just perfect for Vancouver's three-season-long winter.
I had the privilege of photographing some of their classic styles in the heart of Vancouver. The model/my good friend, Alice, and I roamed around Stanley Park to capture a piece of NY with Vancouver's beautiful landscape as the backdrop. And of course, it was a gloomy day...with AWESOME light!
Keep scrolling to read HANIA by Anya Cole's story.
How did the brand, HANIA by Anya Cole, come to be?
"When Anya Cole was nine years old, her mother taught her a vital rule: if you need it, you make it. So at a young age, Anya learned the craft of knitting from her mother. She used those skills while dancing as a professional ballerina in Poland to knit herself sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and leg warmers. Then as a single mother living in West Germany, she knitted to financially support herself and her young daughter. Years later living in New York, Anya began to knit again because she couldn't find pieces that fit her simple, elegant, and unique style. This is how HANIA was born."
What is unique about the manufacturing process of HANIA?
"All of our pieces are knit entirely by hand in New York City from yarn specially twisted for HANIA by the most renowned and exclusive cashmere mills in Italy and Scotland. Four seasons ago, we started with just one person knitting for us. As our company grew, so did our circle of knitters. As a part of the company's mission to support local artisans, HANIA now employs over 100 knitters throughout five boroughs of New York City."
"Anya Cole was once a single mother, who worked hard to support her daughter and herself through by knitting. Now as the owner of HANIA, she strives to restore empowerment in women by giving them opportunities to use their skills to earn a living wage. We believe in paying a fair price for quality craftsmanship. At the same time, we believe in giving women the freedom to work on a schedule that benefits both themselves and their families."
What is HANIA's philosophy?
We believe in creating an inclusive and open work environment, where input and opinions are sought and respected. We celebrate creativity and individuality,while cultivating a sense of teamwork. Our knitters bring a set of skills they learned as children from their mothers and grandmothers. We enhance their skills by collaborating with them to create contemporary fashion masterpieces and raise their craft to the highest standards. We produce only what we love. Each and ever single one of our uniquely crafted pieces encourage the appreciation, value, and inherent beauty of hand made clothing."
What would the HANIA team wear during New York's autumn days?
"Typically, we wear a lot of denim in the office with simple shirts, cardigans, and of course, sweaters. We love to cozy up in shawls and shrugs for going around the city."
Currently, the only way you can get your hands on one of these sweaters in Canada is by ordering online at www.haniabyanyacole.com. They carry a wide selection of styles that can be made in an array of natural tones. Your heart will be all warm and fuzzy to know that these sweaters are made by good, hardworking people and are also going toward good deeds. Anya's philanthropic nature and kind heart is one of the driving forces behind the company. She continues to give back to her community, whether it is by volunteering her time or donating hats to hospitals. HANIA by Anya Cole sets a great example that high fashion can truly be sustainable and humane.
Hope you enjoyed these photos. I had such a great time hanging out and capturing my gorgeous friend! Feel free to take a moment and check out HANIA's instagram @haniabyanyacole and also mine @baiktobasics. Click the follow button while you're there!
Hat, Sweaters, Skirt - HANIA by Anya Cole (100% cashmere)