Haute Couture for Horses: A Conversation with Equestrian Designer Anna Klose

Since launching her eponymous collection in 2019, Anna Klose has combined exceptional design and masterful craftsmanship to create luxurious equestrian clothing, accessories and equipment. As the Official Blanket Sponsor of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Hamburg-based brand has created a special design for this year’s Douglas Elliman-sponsored Grand Prix Qualifier. In a conversation with Elliman Insider ahead of the Classic, Klose discussed her approach to equestrian design, why vegan materials are integral to her philosophy and what inspired her design for this year’s Grand Prix Qualifier blanket.

Anna Klose
Anna Klose

What inspired you to start designing horse blankets and other equestrian accessories?
I am a passionate rider myself, so horses have inspired me all my life. At some point I realized, almost all equestrian brands design with the rider in mind, and none of the dominant brands was able to fascinate me with quality and design. The colors and patterns of the clothing collections are simply transferred to the horses, without reconsidering conventional materials and cuts. The same was true for the horse blankets—they all looked and felt the same.

When I designed my very first blanket, I wanted to create a piece of apparel for the horse that could compete with haute couture from Paris and Milan. Since then, my brand has grown into a luxurious collection of apparel and accessories for horses and riders, including a very popular collection of bags.

Can you describe your process for developing a design?
For me, design is the art of combining unique aesthetics with the high functionality that equestrian sports need. This requires exceptional materials that are easy to clean and durable enough for the daily wear and tear of the stable. Therefore, I have always preferred vegan leathers, as they are much more resilient than the natural fibers.

I have so many ideas in my head, so the look is rarely the challenge! But it takes a full-team effort and the specific knowledge of my artisans to bring my visions to life and design a product of truly exceptional quality. If I’ve learned anything from my experience as a designer, it is that good things take time.

What makes an Anna Klose design unique or distinct from other brands and designers?
First and foremost, I am very proud that all our products are made from vegan materials. I love the look of a leather bag, but no animal should suffer to make my ideas come to life!

However, one of the most important differences lies in our concept of “Everlasting Fashion.” The idea is to create looks that have continuity over the years. We don‘t think of our collections as standalone sets with no connection from one season to the next. We approach them as an ever-evolving design that clearly derives from the material and color worlds of the previous collections.

That’s why the high quality of the products is so important to me. If I design a bag that matches the blanket from two or three seasons before, I need to make sure that the products will last for years. We can do that by hand-making everything in my own equestrian manufactory in Hamburg.

What makes the Hampton Classic such a great venue for your brand?
I think there is hardly a more charming horse show in the United States. Everything in the Hamptons is paired with beauty, and the lifestyle fits perfectly with our brand. It’s a wonderful place for us to meet new and old clients, whether at our on-site shop in Boutique Garden or at our VIP Table. We hope to see you there!

What inspired your design for these Hampton Classic horse blankets?
Horses are such wonderfully fascinating creatures—no other animal on Earth allows us to participate in their strength and elegance the same way.

Years ago, I designed my very first ANNAtomic Suit—anatomically shaped horse blankets developed to accentuate the beautiful shape of the horse. Of course, the winning horses at the Hampton Classic deserved such a luxurious dress, as well.

I wanted to design a blanket that felt as light and joyful as the Hamptons itself. The sporty Italian Shell in the light blue were just perfect for that. Combined with our top-class fleece lining in different colors, the blanket has really turned out to be a true signature item of the show.

In creating this design for our fellow sponsor, I also did my best to capture the soul of Douglas Elliman with a tech-suede blanket rendered in the company’s signature colors. This is one thing I simply love about being the Official Blanket Sponsor of the Hampton Classic. It gives you the opportunity to work with fantastic companies that all share a mutual passion for the equestrian sports.

It was an absolute pleasure working with them, and we are excited to see who will be the lucky winner of the blanket!

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