Not a “designer-designer” – Jonathan Anderson

  • The creative director of both J.W. Anderson and Loewe is redefining luxury through his perceptive take on editing and business development.

    Since establishing his own menswear label - J.W.Anderson - in 2008, Jonathan Anderson has been flourishing steadily, both as a designer and as a business man. His unique interpretation of masculinity and femininity by crossing menswear and womenswear elements in a wholly menswear offering, created a palatable buzz. This naturally led him to develop the counter womenswear collections of 2010. The acquisition by LVMH last year catapulted his career (and added the Loewe role) to put him firmly on the contemporary-luxury fashion map.

    “I’m aiming to quadruple Loewe and more than quaduple J.W. Anderson in top line sales in the next five years.” said the Northern Irish designer.

    “I’m not a ‘designer-designer’. I’m a motivator, a driver and an editor.”

    Anderson now splits his time between London, Paris and Madrid and works with two completely autonomous teams covering both J.W. Anderson and Loewe respectively. Both teams have absorbed Anderson’s unique skill in juxtaposing silhouette proportions and textures in combination. At the same time, he obeys the very different codes for the two brands: one is sophisticated, while the other is contemporary.

    “Loewe is a historical luxury house whereas J.W. Anderson is making history along the way.”

    Luxury. It’s a much overused yet a hard to pin down vernacular bit of speech in this day and age. Anderson is very clear about what he meant by that.

    “Luxury is not about glossy stores anymore. It’s about being personal and cultural.”

    He’s spot on. Nowadays, we all want to be part of and share some kind of experience, be it travel, food, photography, music, the list goes on and on - thanks to the social media platforms - and these platforms mean a lot to Anderson.

    “The consumers are the most important people to me. They tell me the truth via instagram and twitter. They tell me what they want. Every morning, I look through the sales, so that I know exactly what’s selling and what’s not.”

    He might mean “business”, but behind that calculating façade, there still lies an imaginative young man who understands the power of dreaming and achieving.

    “I was super excited to work with Steven Miesel on the campaign; it’s a big dream that came true. His imagery has always been so timeless. I’m here to make people dream, to make them excited.”

    Interview by Lucienne-Leung Davies