Words by Katie Farley
Anya Cole is the designer behind the unique and authentic brand HANIA New York, a luxury knitwear company that was brought to life in 2012 and since its inception has been constructed by the hands of New York’s local artisans. The concept of HANIA infuses a modern aesthetic into a tradition that is centuries-old, where the fashion line bestows itself to incomparable excellence, a focus on ethical values, and exceptional craftsmanship.
Italian and Scottish cashmere is created from the world’s premium mills, where each knitwear item that boasts exceptional quality is designed to emit timeless and versatile superiority. Every HANIA item is intended to provide a woman with ease of movement and confidence that ultimately carries out an obstinate style, while simultaneously being flexible enough to lead them on life’s exciting albeit undiscovered journey.
Creative director Anya explains, “Taking inspiration from my background as a classically trained ballet dancer, HANIA collections celebrate ease of movement, creativity, and individuality. We pride ourselves on the product and the team that this unique, artistic alchemy has brought together. I always felt I could be more creative and free to explore designs with knitting,” she decrypts. “When I touch the yarn, I can imagine what I am going to make from it.”
“Our commitment to producing locally has gained the brand a “Made in New York” Mark of Distinction,” proudly confirms Anya, elaborating how a local network of talented knitters across the city are commissioned and therefore responsible for the creation of each HANIA collection. This opportunity awarded to the local knitters facilitates them to exploit and enrich the creative craft they have refined during the sequence of their lives.
Essentially, the label’s objective is to empower artisans, with a prominent emphasis on women that extend over the five boroughs to pursue a profession they attain a passion for and to pioneer the persistence of traditional practices in the core of the effervescent city. “As a reminder of the one-of-a-kind nature of every HANIA piece, each knitter leaves a signature sewn into an interior, hidden seam of the garments she knits,” further confirms the designer.
At HANIA’s inception, a single knitter began the sartorial process that in barely any time at all developed a unification of almost 100 craftswomen that spans the whole city of New York. The fashion house is proud to work with every worker to heighten their proficiency and witness them evolve into well-trained artisans, employed at the utmost heights of craftsmanship to fabricate garments that last the test of time, with the focus to escape the landfill and instead, design heirloom hand-knit pieces.