Another buzzy young designer has officially joined the luxury big leagues. And, another seat has been filled in the ongoing game of musical chairs among luxury heritage labels.
Earlier this month, it was reported that LVMH was in talks with London-based J.W. Anderson, whose collection was one of our favorites this past London Fashion Week. It looks like LVMH liked it too, as WWD confirmed today that the French luxury conglomerate has not only taken a minority stake in Anderson's business, but hired him to take over design duties at Madrid-based luxury label Loewe.
It was just a couple of months ago that Loewe's former creative director Stuart Vevers left the leather goods-focused brand to take the helm at Coach.
According to the Times, Delphine Arnault (Bernard's daughter) and Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group were behind the J.W. Anderson acquisition. Roussel told Suzy Menkes, “When Delphine and I first met Jonathan, we immediately felt that we could help him express the full potential of his innovative brand. And while discussing our partnership better, it became clear that his understanding of all the creative facets of a brand and his capacity to transform tradition into an exciting vision for the present could also make him the perfect creative director at Loewe.”
He's not the most obvious choice--his background is originally in menswear (though he designs womenswear) and he's not as well known for accessories. Though, he's definitely shown that he's adaptable, having designed collections for Versace Versus and Topshop. And perhaps this means LVMH hopes to build up Loewe's ready to wear and take it in an edgier direction.
Anderson told WWD he would be focusing on building a new personality for the brand. But based on what he told Menkes, it will be rooted in the brand's Spanish heritage. “I love Spanish culture,” he told her. “I like the ceramics there. I love the color tone. They have had some of the greatest artists, like Picasso — and they also had Balenciaga.”
LVMH's investment in the designer also obviously mimics Kering's recent investment in fellow London designer Christopher Kane--it will be interesting to watch both of their namesake businesses grow as a result of these new resources.