Q&A with Anna Singh, Co-founder of Chinti & Parker
We've been big fans of Chinti & Parker since the beginning and have loved watching how the brand has evolved since launching back in 2009. Here, as we take delivery of their AW13 collection, we talk to co-founder Anna Singh, pictured left.
Describe your typical working day?
I’m not sure there is a typical day as both my partner [cousin Rachael Wood] and I are extremely hands on; we direct all aspects of business, so a single day might include planning the next collection, conducting sales appointments and press interviews, managing any number of ecommerce projects, and a fair bit of number-crunching and business strategy. The common thread is a fairly early wake-up call via my two sons, and a healthy amount of ribbing from Rachael who is a bit of a comedienne.
Who or what couldn't you live without?
My family, Wagamama’s chicken Katsu curry and a sense of humour.
What do you like most about what you do?
I’m building something extremely personal, and when people respond positively to it, it’s hugely rewarding.
Tell us a bit about how Chinti & Parker has evolved since launching in 2009?
I like to think we started out small, but perfectly formed. We launched with a capsule collection of high quality, well-designed basics in organic cotton and cashmere. Since then, we’ve expanded considerably, and now offer a well-versed collection of luxury casualwear with a strong focus on knitwear that combines classic cuts with fashion-minded details. I like to think we create the sort of pieces you’ll return to year in year out, but always feel stylish in.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
There have been a lot of highlights in the last year or so, including amazing press coverage and high profile collaborations with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and cult pattern studio Patternity. However, I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve grown our business considerably in the last year and have subsequently been able to double our team and output. For a young business, this is no mean feat.
What has been the most important lesson learnt?
The bigger your company and profile gets, the easier it is to become distracted from the essence of your brand. Having constant checkpoints in place to keep you focused is crucial.
Who or what inspires you?
We take inspiration from everywhere: a childhood jumper, a tile pattern we’ve seen on our travels, the colour of sun-bleached paper, and any number of style icons past and present. It’s a constantly evolving, eclectic thing, and subconsciously I’m always looking for triggers.
What is team Chinti & Parker's guilty pleasure?
Oh gosh, too many to list! Definitely something edible… probably a mid-afternoon sugar fix in the form of Krispy Kremes. And we’ve been known to check out the Mail online.
And finally, tell us a bit about a few of our favourite pieces from this season's collection...
This season is a balance of graphic intarsia knits, charming handmade prints and versatile separates that do office, evening and off-duty. We loving the Aztec sweater as it lends instant nowness to jeans and a jacket, while the voile shirt is a pretty dress-up, dress-down piece that’s chic without being overdone. For print, the box tee in our handmade ‘tooth’ print is a great way to do pattern in an understated way.