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Apparel and accessories

Anya Hindmarch shows love for London in buoyant display

February 15, 2018

Anya Hindmarch's Chubby Hearts over London is taking over some of the city's landmarks. Image courtesy of Anya Hindmarch


British accessories label Anya Hindmarch is penning a playful love letter to London on some of the city’s landmarks.

The brand’s weeklong “Chubby Hearts over London” project will see helium balloons attached to destinations such as Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Timed to coincide with both Valentine’s Day and London Fashion Week, the campaign is apt to attract attention as the fashion industry flocks to London.

"Not only is this an unavoidable takeover of London – one of the most significant fashion centers on the planet – but it also coincides with London’s Fashion Week," said John Grego, director of client services and strategy at Mascola Group, New Haven, CT. "There is no way Anya’s names won’t be on everyone’s lips.

"For a designer from England, this project also has a residual goodwill effect," he said. "The Chubby Hearts provide a warm welcome to the tens of thousands of visitors descending on the city of London for Fashion Week. It truly is a win-win for all participants."

Mr. Grego is not affiliated with Anya Hindmarch, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Anya Hindmarch was reached for comment.

Anya hearts London

Anya Hindmarch’s Chubby Hearts over London kicked off Feb. 14 with balloons at The Ritz London, The Dorchester, Covent Garden and Wellington Arch.

The balloons take reference from Anya Hindmarch’s upcoming fall/winter 2018 collection, creating an extension and preview of the runway show. According to the brand, this season they are showing “chubby, cartoon-like bags.”

Depending on the structures, the red helium hearts are either affixed to be floating above these landmarks or squished within them. Each night, the balloons will be deflated and moved to a new location, popping up to surprise Londoners the next morning.

Anya Hindmarch's balloons are moving every day. Image courtesy of Anya Hindmarch

They will grace a total 29 locations throughout the project, such as Serpentine Gallery and King’s Cross, appearing from dawn to dusk.

Consumers are encouraged to follow the balloons and post their own photos on social media, extending the conversation around the hearts.

"This project is whimsical, playful and youthful - a direct reflection of the brand’s aesthetic," Mr. Grego said.

The out-of-home display is being produced in collaboration with the Mayor of London, the British Fashion Council, the City of Westminster, councils, landowners, businesses, districts and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Anya Hindmarch’s campaign will also be screened throughout the city by agency Ocean Outdoor. On Valentine’s Day at 7:20 p.m., the campaign appeared at Landsec’s Piccadilly Lights.

Chubby Hearts Over London

“The idea for this project came to me whilst sitting in a packed Royal Festival Hall,” said Anya Hindmarch in a statement. “I was in awe of the resilience of Londoners and its visitors.

“Tying giant helium filled Chubby Hearts on to buildings all over the city is simply a ‘surprise love letter to London’ as a tribute to its strength and to celebrate our amazing creative city.”

The balloons will be up through Feb. 20, at which point they will be deflated and stored for future use.

Hometown glory
Luxury brands often share a tight bond with their hometowns or countries, and these relationships are often explored through marketing.

For instance, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is celebrating Canada's 150th birthday in a special manner that includes a series of packages and events, topped off with a video love letter to its home country.

The hospitality brand is kicking off celebrations for the country of Canada turning 150 with a video that shows its team members sharing their love and appreciation for the country. The hotel will now offer special events, amenities and programming including pan-Canadian railway packages and authentic heritage dinners at locations across Canada throughout the rest of the year (see story).

Similarly, department store chain Barneys New York is paying tribute to the eccentric personalities that make up New York in its spring 2016 campaign.

“Our Town,” shot by Bruce Weber, features famous faces such as Yoko Ono, Lady Gaga and Bobby Cannavale at iconic destinations including Katz’s Delicatessen, Central Park and The Carlyle Hotel. The retailer’s campaign was released as it prepared to inaugurate its new Chelsea flagship almost exactly where its first store opened in 1923, making it a fitting time to explore its longstanding connection to New York (see story).

"This project should be tremendously effective in garnering attention to both Anya and her line during fashion week," Mascola Group's Mr. Grego said. "In today’s media environment, it is difficult to break through the clutter.

"What Anya did was rise above it," he said. "Everyone in London may be talking about fashion week, but everyone at fashion week is talking about Anya."