Chatting with Anine Bing
Seven years ago, Anine Bing took a risk, created a cult collection, and converted her engaged online audience from followers into customers, offering everyday, elevated staples with her namesake line. Anine is the embodiment of her brand, full stop. Her Scandinavian heritage, design savvy, and American spirit are seamlessly intertwined and I’m thrilled that I had the chance to sit down with this (unbelievably calm!) force of nature.
Melissa: Tell me about your background and how you got started as a designer?
Anine: Ever since I was a child, I was always super creative. I loved creating my own pieces growing up, but I didn’t go to school for it. It all started when I had a fashion blog, many years ago. I was really good at finding those vintage pieces and combining them with new pieces. I gained fans and people loved following me for my style and creativity. About seven years ago I saw an opportunity because every time I posted something, people wanted what I was wearing! I wanted to test my idea out, so I put 100 of my pieces from my own closet online on my blog and it was all sold in one hour! With my creativity and my husband’s background in production, we started a very small collection, 12 pieces—some staple items like the perfect white t-shirt, a couple of jeans, a leather jacket and The Charlie Boots. We launched right out of our garage here in LA, and then started a Shopify page. It started out very small, and it just grew from there.
Melissa: How many stores do you have now, and where are they located?
Anine: We have 10 stores; 2 in LA, 2 in New York, 2 in London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and Berlin.
Melissa: The rock n’ roll vibe of your line is a constant undercurrent, but you never make it intimidating. What would you say to someone who is scared to try rock n’ roll style? For lack of a better term, what’s the gateway drug i.e Anine Bing signature piece?
Anine: I would say a graphic tee. You can make it your own with a blazer or a skirt.
Melissa: What is your day-to-day routine like? Give us your morning to night breakdown!
Anine: Everyday is different. I wake up in the morning at 5:30! I recently became gluten intolerant so cutting gluten has really cleared my head and mind. I drive my kids to school and then I head into the office for the day. Then if I don’t have any events or dinners, I head home. For the past few years, I have not had time to do much else besides work and be with my family.
Melissa: What are the particulars you wear everyday?
Anine: My jewelry—I wear everyday. I wear my wedding ring and my rings from my new collection. This chunky necklace is new to our jewelry collection. I think adding this to a white tee changes this simple look.
Melissa: You introduced Bing Kids not too long ago. What was your impetus behind that? Did you see a whitespace in the marketplace?
Anine: Bing Kids was designed because Bianca (my daughter) was asking for a leather jacket. From that point, each season we choose prints from the collection and make them into the kids pieces. But now she is asking for Princess dresses…
Melissa: If you had to pick 3 must have pieces from Anine Bing what would they be?
Anine: The must haves are:
1) Great leather motorcycle jacket
2) A chunky knit sweater
Melissa: If we were to raid your closet, what accessory do you have the most of?
Anine: I only wear my brand but I love vintage handbags. So I would say that’s what you would find the most of, vintage handbags!
Melissa: Who is the Anine Bing woman? Who do you think about when you are designing?
Anine: We define our brand as having timeless style with rock ‘n’ roll edge, and for me it’s really all about that duality. Our brand balances my Scandinavian background with that kind of rugged American energy. The typical AB woman loves denim, boots, a graphic tee and leather jacket or a blazer. We keep those basics all year in our Classics Collection so our customers can mix and match with more seasonal pieces.
Melissa: You’re based in LA, are Scandinavian, and have stores all over the world. How did you create that style, that alchemy, that has been interpreted so seamlessly into a line that is beloved across so many cultures?
Anine: We believe in the power of fashion to provide simple, bold dressing women can feel confident in. We stand for individuality, using our platform to encourage women to be their truest self and comfortable in their own skin, and I think that resonates with our customers across the world.
Melissa: Speaking of music, what are you listening to these days? Any new artists have a style that you’re loving?
Anine: I’m always listening to The Cranberries, they are my favorite band of all time and I listen to them every morning when I’m getting ready. I recently went to a First Aid Kit concert, so I’ve had their music playing on repeat ever since.