Jonathan Anderson is fashion’s creative polymath

Fashion is a creative process that combines practical design with conceptual thinking. When the dance is so captivating that people cannot look away, it’s a sign of success.

Jonathan Anderson is a master at this and has enjoyed high praise from critics over the years.

Curation approach to creative endeavors

The designer from Northern Ireland has been the creative head for two brands, Spanish house Loewe as well as his London-based label JW Anderson. He is known for his collaborative and curation approach to creative endeavors.

“I am an enabler. He says that he is privileged to shine a spotlight on the work of others during an interview at JW Anderson headquarters in London.

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JW Anderson’s latest collection was not shown on a runway due to the ongoing pandemic. Instead, he sent interested guests an interactive booklet with photographs of models in different looks. These photos could be cut out and used for fun. It was low-fi, crafty and reminded us that fashion is about creating things.

Exhibitions like the Loewe Craft

Anderson is an avid collector of objects and passionate about supporting artisans and makers through initiatives and exhibitions like the Loewe Craft Prize. He says that “craft is one of the foundations of creativity.” Anderson is also a creative polymath, who can easily move between mainstream and high-brow influences. His references range from art history to pop culture.

Anderson curated “Disobedient Bodies”, a 2017 exhibition at the Barbara Hepworth Museum in Wakefield, England. Figurative sculptures from Henry Moore and Louise Bourgeois were paired with fashion from the archives Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, and he also curated the show. Anderson said that there was “an excitement over the dialogue between these two characters talking to each other.”

How does Anderson manage to keep so many projects in his head?

Anderson has worked with many brands over the years, including Uniqlo, Topshop and Converse, as well as Versace, a luxury house. This raises the obvious question: How does Anderson manage to keep so many projects in his head?

He says he has a low tolerance for boredom, and thrives under pressure. His creative web of influences is described by him as a mindmap something he used to create as a child.

It’s all about mind mapping for me. As the curator, I am the ‘eye’ of it and radiate outwards from it satellite projects: Loewe is there, Moncler is there, JW Anderson is there, Uniqlo is there,” he said. There are also collaborations with artists or a retrospective of a museum. They all have different meanings to me and they get me out of bed every morning.

Moncler is his most recent satellite

Moncler Genius, which was launched in Milan Fashion Week February 2018 under the slogan “one house, many voices”, has abandoned the idea of having a single creative head to run a fashion label. The Italian brand invites a variety of creative directors to create individual collections, which are then released throughout the year on a rolling calendar.