‘It’s not about price,’ says Anna Garner when I ask how she gathers things for her chic, new website The Garnered. ‘I never want to be drawn to things that are expensive just for the sake of it. I’m interested in quality and longevity – it’s got to be individual and unique’. And Garner definitely practises what she preaches; when we meet for coffee she looks elegant and understated in a vintage red jumper, 3/4 length trousers and Marni boots. Having had a long career in buying, as fashion director at Selfridges and Joseph in London and Henri Bendel’s in New York, Garner has an eye for a bestselling design and an aptly named ecommerce site to go with (surely the most chic example of nominative determinism, ever?). The Garnered acts as a beautifully curated showcase for homewares, jewellery and accessories, ceramics and ‘craftsmanship of all kinds’. It’s launch coincides with the mood for a more considerate kind of consumption and slowing down, ‘I love investment pieces that transcend age, that people could pass down from one generation to the next. Pieces that tell a story in their own right’.

We had a quick chat about getting The Garnered going:

Desk tidies (above) by Ben Sutton and handbag Hugo Matha

TNMA: Can you tell me a bit more about the selection process  when choosing designers and items for the Garnered?

AG: ‘I try to look at everything as a balanced portfolio. I’m not interested in flash-in-the-pan trends. Quality is a prerequisite – It’s about how pieces are made, the whole process, the skill and craftmanship as well as the pieces themselves. Some of the designers have been doing it for 30-40 years and some are straight out of college, so it’s not about experience, it’s about belief in the designer. I guess it does come down to gut.’

Oblique silver bangle and garnet ring below by Abby Mosseri

TNMA: Is sustainability part of your ethos?

AG: ‘We don’t promote ourselves as an ethical site but we try to be ethical in our practises. To show an awareness and responsibility. All the pieces we sell, tell a story in their own right; a lot of our products are handmade and so really individual. We are going against mass production. The passion of the designer is what’s important to me, what they are pouring into their designs that make it very personal.’

TNMA: Do you think the internet has made trends less important?

AG: ‘The thing about trends – well, it was about being in the know, back in the day. Being on the front row at shows, being the first to know six months ahead of everybody else. The fashion industry was privilege to that insider information but now everyone has that information at their fingertips, on the same day. There has definitely some value lost in trends’.

TNMA: Individuality is more important than ever, do you agree?

AG: ‘It’s great that people are celebrating who they are, that’s what fashion is really about. There are many aspects that are good about slowing down, people are buying better, buying things that are more meaningful and made to last, as opposed to throwaway. Style needs to be a very natural thing, an extension of your personality – a spontaneous affair. What you feel in that moment and how you want to express yourself that day. Everything is very global now and because of that we are celebrating individuality more. There’s a lot of freedom and that gives a wider choice to buyers.’

Panama hat by Anthony Peto
Black Celestial Globe by The Little Globe Company

 

As an orb-crazy collector, I’ve got my eye on the miniature globes

 

11 thoughts on “The Garnered: the style website worth a gander

  1. Esthetically, The Garnered is stunning. But I am alway a bit wary when I hear or read words such as “it isn’t about the price”—I know it is about a higher price point.
    For those who can afford it, the site offers many delights. But these days, I’m more worried about how much I’ll have to pay for healthcare with pumpkin head in the Whitey House.
    I can use The Garnered to get ideas for when I visit discount stores such as “Home Goods”.
    *Sigh* it’s difficult being an heiress in a pauper’s body!!!!

  2. Catherine, I perfectly understand your point, and watching it from where I am (Denmark), I sympathize with your worry. The thing is, that we don’t need all these things. They are wonderfuld to look at, but once we own them, then there will be a new beautiful thing to desire. I have set my mind to being pleased knowing, that these things exist, and if – if – I keep thinking about a specific item, I will start saving for it. Otherwise it is enough to know that it exists.
    I wish you the best of health! 🙂

    1. A wonderful approach, Ninna. So often just looking at something (so artfully presented) creates an instant feeling of want, but it’s amazing how quickly that thing is forgotten after clicking away from it. I feel increasingly weary of looking at pictures, however lovely, whose purpose is to get me to buy something.

  3. This has gotten me thinking about doing a spoofing blog about curating what I can find at the affordable shops in my small city in Virginia…

  4. I kind of agree with everyone above, in the end it’s all just more stuff isn’t it? I prefer to find unique things on my own perhaps from a trip somewhere, something a family member has cherished and handed down, or even something found a a tag sale that speaks to me. I do think less is becoming more and who knows what will happen to us as stated above, with healthcare and our country. Cute things for sure on this site and though there are some more affordable ideas for gifts on here, but most seem to be very pricey.

  5. LOVE that silver bangle and OMG the Anthony Peto hats!! I like the selection on this site. I think the price points are quite varied and I don’t mind paying extra for things that are beautifully made to last. It’s not like you have to shop all the time, just choose selectively.

  6. I have to say I agree with the previous comments: it’s still a lot of things for sale. The idea of knowing it exists is a really mindful way of being engaged with the new while resisting the need to acquire. As someone committed to vintage and pre-owned items, I find the need for “new” designs less and less compelling, especially when much of fashion is quoted directly from inexpensive vintage pieces which serve as inspiration for top designers.
    http://www.beastofstyle.com

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