HANIA New York cashmere hand knits make me want to snuggle-up and strut around at the same time. Ultra luxe meets extreme comfort. When we think of cashmere, we think of the ultimate luxury yarn. Despite its humble origins dating back centuries to caves in Mongolia, cashmere became the crown jewel of fabrics in 19th-century Europe, revered then and now by designers, fashionistas, and royalty across the globe.
But what makes one cashmere brand better than another? Social Life set out on a journey to find the best in cashmere knits. We discovered, hands down, the most breathtaking brand with unparalleled quality: HANIA New York.
A luxury knitwear collection founded by Anya Cole in 2012, HANIA New York pieces are born using the highest quality Scottish and Italian cashmeres from the finest mills in the world. Each piece is individually hand knit by a highly-skilled craftswoman — right in New York City. The combination of outstanding yarns and artisanship is rare in this time of mass manufacturing and look-a-like fabrics. Empowering women is at the heart of the brand’s mission. And as the buyer, we benefit from these art pieces — as each knitter leaves a signature sewn into an interior, hidden seam of the garment she knits.
I tested a few of the pieces, and I felt like a queen walking on air. Light and soft, the pieces have incredible drape and a relaxed silhouette. Inspired by Anya’s background as a classically trained ballet dancer, the designs embody ease of movement, creativity, and individuality. I just love them! Oh, and they can be machine washed and dried.
HANIA New York knits are literally made for you. You can visit the studio on 56th Street by appointment to meet the designer, choose yarn, be measured, explain what you like, and, voila, within 10 days to three weeks you have your coveted piece. What a wonderful experience as a buyer and fashion lover who insists on true luxury. And if anything happens to it, don’t fret, you’re covered by a lifetime repair guarantee.
Behind The Scenes of a Social Life Cover Shoot with Christie Brinkley
Meet the Designer
Hania New York, a luxury knitwear collection founded by Anya Cole in 2012, brings cashmere lovers pieces that are individually knit by hand in New York City. The collections are born using Scottish and Italian cashmeres from the finest mills in the world. Light and butter-soft, the pieces have incredible drape and a relaxed silhouette. Inspired by Anya’s background as a classically trained ballet dancer, the designs embody ease of movement, creativity, and individuality. They are simply so soft and sophisticated!
Social Life sat down with Anya to learn more about her exquisite cashmere designs.
What inspired you to pursue cashmere fashion?
The pure luxury of the yarn and the way it drapes and feels on the body.
Your pieces are so sumptuous and soft! How do you source the materials?
We work with only the finest yarn mills in Italy and Scotland and have them create our own custom twists and colors. The custom twists mean that all our pieces can be machine washed and dried.
Empowering women is at the heart of your company mission. Can you tell us how you find local women knitters?
It happens organically as each knitter reaches out to family and friends in her community who are gifted knitters. All of our knitters have come to us through word of mouth.
Is there one particular piece that truly reflects the Hania new York style?
Any of the larger pieces — the bigger the better. I don’t see the larger sweaters as covering up . . . whoever you are will shine through.
We absolutely love how you custom make each piece depending on the buyer’s preferences. How quickly can you deliver an ordered piece?
Usually it will take a few days for an accessory, two weeks for a sweater, and three to four weeks for a major statement coat.
What are your thoughts on cashmere in the summer?
Cashmere is a natural fiber and so it breathes, especially when mixed with some silk and cotton in lightweight open-weave stitch styles. We make styles that can be fabulous cover-ups or something to wear in the evening at the beach or on a yacht when the ocean breezes can get quite chilly.
What is your personal favorite piece?
The large Mara sweater — either solid or color-blocked.
If Hania had a mantra, what would it be?
As my mother used to tell me growing up in Poland, ‘If you need it, you make it.’
Hania New York
16 West 56th Street, 4th floor