Meet the Woman Behind Carrie’s Favorite New Clothing Brand

Carrie Johnson has positioned herself as a lauded fashion champ, but at an event at private club Oswald’s in Mayfair on Monday night, the Prime Minister’s wife swapped her beloved for a brand new statement dress from the British brand Wiggykit.

“I was catching up with the Daily Mail and thought it was familiar!” says Wiggy Hindmarch, brand founder and wife of William Hindmarch, brother of famed handbag designer Anya. “I’m amazed at how many people sent me the item,” says Hindmarch, who had no idea Johnson was going to wear one of his designs.

The dress Carrie chose is a long-sleeved A-line midi dress made from a blend of cotton canvas and velvet, with a military bib-style neckline, and it’s still available for purchase on matches fashion and specific to Wiggy Kit site for £695.

The Wiggy Kit dress worn by Carrie Johnson

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“I’ve definitely seen a surge of interest since she wore it and the marketing department reached out to let us know about that as well. It was one of our best sellers even before that, and we were already at our last, so I don’t imagine it will be around much longer. Hindmarch will not be restocking the style this season, after all, part of its USP is doing short, limited runs of exclusive pieces” so that when you buy it, you don’t feel like everyone is going to get it.” She adds, “My pieces tend to sell out very quickly and once they sell out, they sell out. “

The Wiggy Kit brand was launched in 2015 and initially focused on resort wear with a yearly summer focused collection. In September last year, the brand released its first-ever fall/winter collection (hence Carrie’s dress), in response to popular demand. “Customers were asking me what I wore in the winter because they wore my brand all summer and then felt lost. So I found out I was rattling off emails with recommendations from other brands I liked… but I also found that I was getting impatient with not finding what I wanted to wear, so I decided to do it myself and translate my typical style into a winter direction.

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Hindmarch was first trained as a dancer in school, then jumped straight into fashion after graduating by getting a job at Cole Haan’s studio in New York, where she grew up. Her early years working in retail proved invaluable in launching her own brand. “I couldn’t have started this business and run it successfully if I didn’t have this understanding of the customer and the retail industry and how difficult it is. It takes blood, sweat and tears to make it a success, and that’s what I do because I love it.

The garments are made in India and Portugal and Hindmarch designs its own prints and manufactures all of its own fabrics, which it considers a central pillar of its business. The clientele is wide, spanning girls in their 20s to women in their 60s, but the core clientele ranges from early 30s to late 50s, making Carrie the perfect poster child.

Did Wiggy turn to her sister-in-law Anya Hindmarch for business advice when she launched? “To be honest, I already had so much experience that I didn’t really need to consult her. And I probably think at that time I would have been too shy to ask him anyway. She is a very busy woman! It would have made sense to ask him for advice on a lot of things, but strangely I didn’t. I had already done so much for brands that I felt I knew what I had to do and how to do it.

Wiggy Hindmarch wearing the Wiggy kit

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Anya will often carry Wiggy and vice versa. “In fact, the other day someone helping her shop for her didn’t realize we were sisters-in-law and included my brand in the selection!”

We wonder if this is the same stylist who accessorized Carrie’s Wiggy dress with an Anya Hindmarch beaded shoulder bag on Monday night. Could it really have been a coincidence? “You know, we have no idea. We laughed a little with the family, the duel of the Hindmarch brand! It’s quite funny. I have absolutely no idea if it was a coincidence or not. Anya certainly didn’t know and I didn’t, but we had a good laugh about it.

Either way, the sisters-in-law were thrilled to see Johnson supporting British brands. “The British fashion industry is not always supported,” says Hindmarch. “So that was really nice to see.”

As to whether she’ll add Johnson to her gift list for the upcoming collection, Hindmarch has yet to decide. “Ooh that makes me think… I probably should be!” She is welcome in my studio whenever she wants.

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Read on to discover Wiggy’s routine and her must-have fashion and beauty products…

What is your daily uniform?

Obviously it’s a dress and boots or sneakers or skirts with a cashmere knit and, of course, it’s always Wiggy Kit. Sometimes I’ll do slightly off-kilter jeans with one of my tops to toughen it up and make it uneven.

What do you wear to work?

I’m lucky that now that I produce a winter collection in addition to my summer pieces, I now always have something from Wiggy Kit to wear. However, if I have a lot of fittings to do that day, I will wear loose, comfortable clothes that are easy to put on and take off, as I will be spending most of my day in my underwear trying on samples.

Do you work from home?

Once in a while and I find it can be very mentally freeing to work from home away from the studio as I find it can allow me to be a little more creative when designing if I’m alone in my house. Having easy access to all my interiors, design and travel books gives me a lot of inspiration. My kitchen is housed in a very modern all-glass annex that sits in my garden and watching the changing seasons is always a great place to reflect.

What are the most valuable pieces in your wardrobe?

I’m long on coats, sweaters, shoes and boots and I keep piling them on but never throwing them away. I will be passing on my much loved Anya Hindmarch coats to my daughters because they are so timeless and chic (I wish she still made them).

What’s on your Spring 22 wishlist?

Well I’m obviously lucky to have all my clothes sorted so it’s blazers, coats, accessories, shoes, jewelry, knitwear and bikinis to complete my collections that I’m always on the lookout for research. I’m an expert shopper and that’s something I really appreciate. But one thing I’ve had on my list for some time is to go to Paris to have a bespoke Charvet shirt made – I’ll design it with them in their studio, choose the manufacturing and then you can keep them in a folder and order them in any fabric and start collecting them.

You live in Chiswick – do you have any favorite shops in the area?

The Old Cinema on Chiswick High Road is a bit of an antiques market where you can often buy something interesting or just have a look around. Foster Books is a lovely little gem where you can discover original, used and antique books as well as etchings and prints and miscellaneous books you didn’t know you needed. Macken Brothers, our local butcher who is amazing – we live off their boneless marinated whole chicken in an ‘Indian Mystery’ marinade.

Tell me about your beauty regime…

Eve Lom Cleansing Balm (£55, NK space), Dermalogica Vitamin C Serum (£85, Dermalogica.co.uk) during the day, Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Water Face Mask (£44, SpaceNK.com) or Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleep Mask (£43, SpaceNK.com) for the night or a really nice face oil like Le Creme Beauté Rose Face Oil (£65.5, lacremebeaute.com) or Sundari face oil (£50, Sundari.com).

Before my makeup I use Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Primer (£46.50, boots.com). I swear by Vita Liberata Beauty Blur in Latte (£21.13, lookfantastic.com) to give me a dewy glowing base, an hourglass hidden concealer to even out the skin, but a different one under my eyes (I have so many) I go from one to the other but still like Trinny London (£26, Trinnylondon.com) just a touch or Bobbi brown corrector (£21.50, lookfantastic.com). I play with a lot of makeup and have drawers and drawers of stuff and I’ll change it depending on the time of year, what I’m wearing, the weather, how my skin looks. I also really like these chubby eye sticks like the Laura Mercier Caviar Metallic Eye Stick in Burnished Bronze (£16.66, Boots.com). Oh yeah and one more tip – Chanel Le Blanc Rosy Light Drops (£40, chanel.com) are a winner for illuminating the face and zero flicker.

If you had to take only 5 items for your vacation, what would they be?

A faded brown or pink Fella Swim Bikini, Valentino Roman studded flat gladiators, Céline sunglasses and, currently from the Spring/Summer collection, the Maxi Privet dress in red seersucker and the Market Dress in indigo cloud print linen because they are both super versatile, day to night, beach to bar.

How would you sum up your style?

Classic with a twist, not afraid to take risks, I play with proportions and love interesting exaggerated cuts, prints and colors. I always want to be comfortable and I won’t sacrifice comfort for style. I often like tomboy wardrobes that are masculine enough to thwart too much softness.

About Carl Schroeder

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