Brands are often a reflection of their core designers. This sentiment has never been more true than with Leon Anderson and his brainchild, Due Diligence. The brand initially kicked off in a “fast fashion type of way.” However, after conversations with his peers, Anderson came to an understanding. He’s always been the guy to wear designer clothes that were bright, rock furs, and achieve an overall high fashion aesthetic. So why wasn’t he staying faithful to him?
After taking a hiatus from the brand over the pandemic, Anderson and Due Diligence are back and here to make a splash. Chapter 3 of the brand’s rebirth sees a ton of staple pieces ranging from a vibrant mohair cardigan to an array of Nappa leather garms ready for the streets of London. These pieces, along with many more that have been secretly in the works, will be showcased at Selfridges.
We had the chance to catch up with Leon Anderson to talk to him a little about the brand’s rebirth, what makes Due Diligence so unique, and what we can expect from the upcoming Selfridges pop-up.
Due Diligence is a brand known to be influenced by your day-to-day life. What are a few ways that your everyday living has influenced DD’s latest collection?
“So, first of all, I really enjoy being comfortable and cozy. So that’s why we’ve got like the sweats, and you know, the big jackets. Being from London, we have seasons, so you know it actually gets cold. Although I kind of reside in LA and over in the UAE … So when I was designing, I had that in mind, obviously quintessentially British, and really have to think about, you know, that type of weather and things like that. So yeah, just my every day, being a kid from London, knowing what’s about to happen, I like cold weather, and I love cold weather fashion.”
As a brand founded in London, one of the fashion capitals of the world, producing some of the most iconic trends and aesthetics, how has the city and its influences inspired your designs?
So obviously London is a really multicultural city, and it’s like a melting pot for all different types of fashion. So, coming from London, you see everything, and like, I’ve managed to take little bits from all of the experiences that I’ve had living there for a long, long time, and I don’t know if it’s kind of ingrained. So it just comes out when designing, especially since I love color and things like that. And I grew up in an area not too far from an area that was predominantly Asian. And obviously seeing those shops, you know, like the sari shops and stuff like that where they’ve all these bright colors all the time. Like golds and bright oranges and saffron and things like that … I’ve never been a person to wear all black. Put it that way. The brand is influenced by that, I really am a big lover of color, and I kind of believe that bright colors make you happier.
We know that you took a brief hiatus from DD, and no doubt you’re back to make some noise, but has your approach to the brand changed this time around?
It’s changed massively. And obviously, we, as a whole world, went through a pandemic. So that was more of a reason to put the brand on the back burner … coming back to it, it’s a completely different thing for me. We changed the whole ethos of the brand because it had to fit me better as a creative director. We started off in a fast fashion-type of the way with tees and hoodies that were reasonably priced. And what had happened was people, fanbase, friends, were kind of like, this doesn’t fit you. You’re not a fast fashion shopper. You love designer clothes. You love expensive things. I’ve always worn furs and things like that, so people said hey, the brand doesn’t suit you. So we went back to the drawing board, and I started designing clothes that I would go into stores and buy. I’m a big fan of Louis Vuitton and Dior and their designers, and they influence my daily wear. So in order to be able to wear my brand every day, I had to change it.
Everyone’s buzzed for the Due Diligence Selfridges pop-up. What can fans of the brand expect at the space?
So Selfridges is another dream come true, never expected it, especially not so soon I mean, we only launched in February. There are brands that probably go years without getting into stores, like Selfridges. But what can be expected of us is just the freshest designs. I’m trying to innovate and kind of be a pioneer in fashion. And we see it happening already. I don’t know if it’s directly my influence, but I’m seeing brands, little bits, and pieces, which could be a total coincidence. We’ve seen it once and went, yeah, this could be a coincidence, but like, three or four times, nah. So Selfridges is going to get great, great, great designs and presence too.
It’s super dope to see such a young UK-based brand popping up at a major UK department store. How do you feel Selfridges represents the spirit of DD and UK fashion?
Selfridges is the epitome of luxury. I’ve been going into that store since as long as I can remember. I would go to Oxford street at 14, 15 years old, walk around Selfridges and not be able to afford anything there. But it is literally the staple. Everyone knows that yellow bag. It doesn’t matter where you go. That yellow bag is a representation of the city, London, Oxford Street, and just a place like that is magic.
Finally, you’re reading this article back in 10 years’ time. What do you want to say to the Leon of 2032?
Oh wow, you did it kid, haha. Honestly, probably, hopefully, congratulations. The hard work paid off. Keep going; there’s definitely room for growth in everything that you do. My message to the Leon of 2032 would be a positive one.