LOEWE has officially been crowned the hottest brand in the world. It is worn by A$AP Rocky and Beyoncé, and its shows go wild on social media. This season, it continued its triumphant reign as it played with deception and reduction and gave high-waisted trousers a whole new meaning, keeping the fashionistas in love with LOEWE once more.
LOEWE is a Spanish fashion House founded in Madrid in 1846, and it is LVMH’s oldest fashion House acquisition. It was previously known for producing luxury leather for Spanish royalty, being granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment for the Royal Household of Spain in 1905. While interesting nonetheless, the narrative of a longstanding fashion brand being favoured by members of the royal family feels a little old-hat. People had tired of LOEWE being that leather brand.
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Jonathan Anderson became Creative Director of LOEWE in 2013, just five years after founding his eponymous label, JW Anderson. He put himself forward for the role upon meeting Pierre Yves Roussel when the latter was the head of the Fashion Group of LVMH. At the time, Anderson was well-known in London’s fashionable club scene, and this is exactly the energy he carried with him into LOEWE.
Days later, Anderson had presented his new vision for LOEWE. Rather than getting bogged down on the highbrow Spanish heritage of the brand, Anderson went with what he knew, channelling the infectious kineticism of Ibiza’s club scene into the Madrid-based megabrand.
Despite first arriving at the House in 2013, we would not see his designs until a year later. During his debut Spring 2015 collection, we saw Anderson deconstruct and unravel what had come before: leather was loosely held together, with fabric left to hang on the body. This was seen throughout his debut collection and set a playful precedent for things to come.
Far from frumpy and unchanging, Anderson’s LOEWE is playful, fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, as seen in designs such as its Comic Balloon Pump and Comic Lacquered Foam Pump. Playful offerings such as these take the avant-garde and fuse it with light-hearted and reflective cultural moments, being both strange and relatable.
Anderson is astutely aware of the power of capturing a moment and combines this understanding with influences outside of fashion to create clothing people care about. For example, in April 2023, the Metaverse was something increasingly talked about in people’s lives. Anderson presented a series of pixelated hoodies and T-shirts, blurring the line between the real and online world in a visually appealing display.
Anderson’s influences range from art to pop culture, himself having curated On Foot, an art exhibition that paid homage to London through art and fashion. As part of LOEWE’s FW23 collection, we saw the designer look to ‘90s pop-culture, as he designed a Polly Pocket-inspired capsule which was created using a 3D printed mould to create seamless, toy-like tops, skirts and jackets which remained rigid on the body. In doing this, Anderson addressed the themes of childhood in a wearable and elevated way and fused it with forward-thinking design techniques – something that created a further buzz around the brand.
As part of its Spring 2023 ready-to-wear collection, Anderson looked to the wider natural world to create aluminium breastplates which mirrored the shape of flowers and offered a rigid contrast to the flowing dresses worn by models. Celebrity wearers, including Zendaya and Emily Ratajkowski, further pushed the LOEWE brand beyond fashion and into the zeitgeist.
Beneath Anderson’s pixelated clothing and cartoonish designs is a visual identity which translates extremely well on social media, resulting in a strong 5.1 million followers on Instagram and, ultimately, colossal sales. In Q2 of this year, LOEWE was announced as the world’s hottest brand as part of the global fashion search platform Lyst’s index. On top of this, LOEWE’s viral tank top and tote bag were the hottest items, reflecting Anderson’s ability to perfectly tread the line between making artistic, avant-garde designs that also sell, seen in its 38% jump in sales to €456 million in 2021.
Jonathan Anderson has been fundamental to the reshaping of the LOEWE brand, reviving and rebuilding a lagging arm of the LVMH corporation with a unique and energetic perspective. Before it was the buzziest brand in fashion, it was a stagnating luxury House under the LVMH umbrella in need of rejuvenation, clinging on to a legacy that consumers were long past caring about. The Northern Ireland-born, London-based designer has moulded LOEWE into the brand of the moment, translating well on social media with its culturally relevant, and aesthetically captivating designs.
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