Anya Hindmarch crowned Veuve Clicquot"s businesswoman of the year

'Margaret Thatcher is my inspiration': Designer Anya Hindmarch reveals admiration for Iron lady as she is crowned businesswoman of the year

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UPDATED:

14:24 GMT, 19 April 2012

British handbag designer Anya Hindmarch has been named Veuve Clicquot’s businesswoman of the year.

Hindmarch, who cites Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher as her inspiration, saw off competition from City heavyweight Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management.

And the accolade certainly proves the growing importance of luxury British brands to the UK economy.

In the bag: Anya Hindmarch has been crowned Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the year

In the bag: Anya Hindmarch has been crowned Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the year

'Hopefully women will sit up and realise it's really exciting starting a business,' Anya enthused.

Anya Hindmarch bags can fetch up to 2,895 and also offers a bespoke service where fans can choose their own leathers onto which their initials can be embossed.

Hindmarch counts celebrities including Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie and The Duchess of Cambridge among her fans.

The 43 year old designer became the
award’s 40th winner this week when she was presented with the honour by
home secretary Theresa May at Claridge’s hotel in London.

Previous winners of the award include Dame Anita Roddick at The Body Shop.

Hindmarch
exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. During her gap
year in Italy she spotted a bag she liked, found a factory and started
producing the design.

The Duchess of Cambridge toted Anya Hindmarch's Maud clutch when she met Michelle Obama last year

Royal seal of approval: The Duchess of Cambridge toted Anya Hindmarch's Maud clutch when she met Michelle Obama last year

She sold her first bags through the
classified ad pages in Harper’s & Queen magazine and went onto open
her first boutique in 1993. Since then her business has grown from one
London shop to 57 outlets, with stores in New York and Tokyo.

She
was honoured with an MBE in 2009 and last year was made a UK Trade
Ambassador by David Cameron alongside Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon.

This
year, alongside Net-a-Porter founder, Natalie Massenet, Hindmarch is
also pledging her support for embryo entrepreneurs by partnering the
School for Creative Start-ups founded by Dragon's Den investor Doug
Richard.

Dubbed an 'MBA for creatives' the school
will run workshops and year-long courses across fashion, design,
performing arts and digital industries.

Bruton butter leather in white, 895

Bruton butter leather in white, 895

Pimlico in tan, 795

Pimlico in tan, 795

Huxley tole in python skin 2895

Huxley tole in python skin 2895