Anya Hindmarch’s leather stickers? They embody digital culture

They’re small, not cheap and you sort of need something cool to attach them to if they’re to look genuinely great. Yet Anya Hindmarch’s luxury stickers are doing a roaring trade – a £12million-in-two-seasons type of trade – off the back of 300,000 orders.

Speaking to Business of Fashion, the British designer said: “We opened a store in Westfield this week and a woman came in yesterday and chose a handbag and six stickers — and right there, in the store, we stickered up her bag. That’s really what it’s all about.”

So why are luxury stickers – preposterous in theory when you really think about it – selling out? It’s not that need to get a piece of a brand through buying something – anything – that has an affordable price point. These are not Anya Hindmarch‘s answer to Gucci sunglasses or Calvin Klein pants.

No, these cartoon-ish appendages are extraordinary because they perfectly sum digital culture today – a mash up of emojis and nostalgia that manage to embody a sense of pop art while they’re at it. 

They take us back to playground swagger, doodling on jotters and customising lives and looks, pre-digital, pre-fast fashion when individualism was more rustically attained. We gravitate towards these vintage ideas, motifs and behaviours and feel united by them. Need evidence? Check out 70% of Buzzfeed’s content (sample headline: “Which 90s movie persona are you based on these three questions?”)

And yet, it’s not just nostalgia-driven. The stickers are basically physical emojis, and isn’t that our global language in 2015? They let consumers dip into the world of smileys and slogan t-shirts without actually wearing a winky face across their chest. Because while that look may not really work in an office or an actual life after, say, the age of 25, a sticker is completely acceptable. A small but discerning nod to knowing and being part of what’s going on.

Who knew a simple sticker could achieve and embody so much? Anya Hindmarch obviously – clever woman.

This post was originally published on WGSN Insider.

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