How Jonathan Anderson keeps up with all the plates he’s juggling is a mystery. Just the rigors of his own eponymous label, which shows in Milan, would be enough. This season, however, he adds creative direction for venerable leather house Loewe to the mix. LVMH, who owns the Loewe label, has not yet asked Anderson to take the brand beyond four collections a year (two men, two women), but even that would be enough to drive most people insane with the workload. Add to that the fact that Loewe’s women’s wear typically comes with a separate bag for every look. Can we say overworked?
Yet, Anderson really pulled off a great show this morning and in many ways this collection may be more wearable and applicable than what he did with his own label. While layered patches of summer suede maintain that modernist tone for which he is known, it is the printed tees that really got tongues wagging as they made their way down the catwalk over brightly colored leather pants. Creative and attractive design on other knit tops was similarly well received.
Color this bright and bold is definitely something we’ve not seen in the Loewe collection for quite a while, and one of the many significant changes Anderson brings to the line. He tells WWD that he wants this collection to be brighter, more accessible, and more versatile. He’s also taking on the goal of quadrupling sales which means taking a much stronger commercial eye to the collection. Anderson looks at it as “reinventing luxury,” but in many ways what he has to do is make the clothes something women actually want to wear.
Whether women will actually wear this collection is the great risk. While the print tee, knitwear, and handbags are likely to do quite well, sales of leather goods has been dropping rapidly for well over a year. Even venerable powerhouses like Prada have taken a significant hit over the past 12 months. Is what Anderson brings to the table likely to change that trend to any significant degree, or has the time come for traditional leather shops like Loewe to start looking at other fabrics? Anderson says he’s staying with leather, but something tells me the bottom line is what ultimately makes that decision.
Loewe takes on an exciting new look this season with a fresh perspective from the young Irishman, Jonathan Anderson. We hope this new emotion, brightness, and color is something he continues for seasons to come.
Photo credit: Anna Palermo