BEHIND THE SCENES
While the creative direction and design of each ANINE BING piece occurs in-house at our Los Angeles headquarters, all production takes place in Turkey where Anine’s husband, Nico Bing, spent years overseeing the creation of various clothing lines in the early 2000s. With his intimate knowledge of the shoe and textile manufacturing business in Turkey, it was a natural place to establish the ANINE BING factory back in 2012, when Anine and Nico first launched the brand.
As a thriving commercial and cultural destination—and once the nexus of the world—Turkey is rich in history and brimming with life: spices, color, patterns, textures, and all things vibrant. Multiple times throughout the year, the ANINE BING design team travels from L.A. to Turkey to meet with the factory team where they gather to approve production, quality control samples, and review plans for upcoming seasons.
Just last week, the design team visited the factory to finalize samples from our 2018 summer collection and kick off the development of our holiday line. And we asked one of our designers, Katya Reily, to document a photo diary of the trip, for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the ANINE BING factory.
Take it away, Katya!
Here we’re studying the color card for a new sweater we’re doing. It’s going to be a cable knit, but it’s always difficult choosing which color to go with. Choices, choices.
We’re picking out our next Stevie Boot color! Which is your favorite?
This image shows the sewing process for the Katya Bag in leopard mohair. That’s right, you now know the namesake behind this bag. I feel a bit embarrassed sharing that, but Anine chose to name the bag after me—I didn’t name it after myself!
Here’s a peek inside our beautiful shoe and bag atelier at the factory. It’s incredibly inspiring to see all of the craftsmanship that goes into bringing our designs to life. The shoe factory is family-run and the relationships are strong between everyone who works here. You’re seeing the part of the bag-making process where they are gluing and clamping the leather pieces together, bonding the edges. Certain parts of a bag you glue, and certain parts you sew, and this is the gluing phase. As they glue the edges, they clamp them super tight with weights, and then glue the lining to the black leather exterior.
This is our Bianca Boot! The boots are in the finishing stage where the factory team quality controls them to make sure every single stud is in its perfect place and everything looks shiny and new before they pack and send them off.
This is the room for molding and gluing, and these are our Stevie Boots in blue metallic leather. Some of the shoes don’t have soles and heels yet, because this is the stage where they get added.
Here I’m taking the Leopard Katya Bag for a spin in the showroom of our shoe and bag atelier. You can see a bunch of ANINE BING shoe and bag samples in the background. We love to host our team meetings in the atelier and talk about all things shoes! We sit around a big table with Turkish coffee, a spread of dried fruit, nuts, tea cookies, and croissant. It’s my favorite part of the trip.
Our shoe atelier has a little balcony where I like to break away for lentil soup and a traditional Turkish meal of bread, hummus, greek leaves stuffed with rice, along with fruit, nuts, and tea. So good!
The production team surprised the design team with a cake because we beat our sales goal last month. Upon our arrival at the factory, they gave us this delicious cake of chocolate meringue and fresh strawberries. Such a nice gesture.
Here we are sourcing fabric and hardware for the boots and bags. Everything from buckles, studs, and locks. I love getting to select finishing touches like this.
We walked into the Grand Bazaar and this guy was the first person I saw. He was wearing these incredibly cool shoes and I asked if I could take a picture. He was so proud of them, he told me he did this himself. I just had to snap a pic.
I still don’t know what these are but I loved the little colorful mushroom shapes. So pleasing to look at. Everything in Turkey is rich and aromatic. The Grand Bazaar was full of spices and dried fruit, all kinds of special things.
This was an amazing moment during off hours. I was walking around the town, and I came upon a priest in the tower of the mosque singing during prayer time. It was a rainy night with birds flying overhead in the clouds as the priest’s voice echoed off the buildings. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
In the midst of “QC-ing” a short-sleeved mohair sweater we’re releasing this April. We’re checking it to make sure the measurements are just right. Fit is everything to us at ANINE BING!
This is the adorable daughter of our factory owner. He’s in charge of managing the production of our denim and t-shirts. His daughter’s name is Anka and she speaks a bit of English. One day she was wearing this bohemian, floor-length dress with combat boots and my heart almost exploded. She is an #ANINEBINGmuse in the making!