Jonathan Anderson On Achieving Longevity in Fashion: “You Must Be Able To Run A Marathon Of Creative Sprints”
Designer Profile

Jonathan Anderson On Achieving Longevity in Fashion: “You Must Be Able To Run A Marathon Of Creative Sprints”

Courtesy of Uniqlo and JW Anderson

“I’m really just looking for things that excite me—it could be anything from a table, or a person, or a piece of art.”

Avid admirers of British fashion designer Jonathan Anderson will know that one of the many things he has managed to succeed at in the nearly two decades he’s been in the industry is collaboration. The multi-awarded creative behind his namesake label JW Anderson has long been touted for bringing freshness and an innovative spirit to his collaborative pursuits. 

In fact, Anderson solidified himself into the fashion spotlight after teaming up with Topshop in 2012. The capsule womenswear collection featured understated wardrobe essentials accented with his then-signature paisley and animal prints. In an interview, Anderson explained, “It has always been very important to me that my collections are made accessible to anyone interested in fashion and design.”

For the collection’s debut, Anderson told Vogue UK that a story-telling element was integral to the collaboration’s concept. It is perhaps that quality, that desire to tell stories through clothes that have drawn audiences to his creations ever since.

After spending a year painstakingly reimagining Loewe’s vocabulary, the Irish-born designer has currently helmed the brand, LVMH’s oldest luxury fashion house, for over a decade to great success. This meticulous attention to detail and narrative is likewise reflected in his own brand and other longstanding partnerships.

In an exclusive interview with Vogue Philippines, Anderson tells us that one of the secrets to maintaining his creative drive is to continuously be inspired. “I tend to find inspiration everywhere, and constantly [discover] things that I find interesting,” he says. “I’m really just looking for things that excite me – it could be anything from a table, or a person, or a piece of art.”

Jonathan Anderson Uniqlo
Courtesy of Uniqlo and JW Anderson

This season, Anderson released his sixth collection with the Japanese brand Uniqlo. His debut collection back in 2017 earned critical acclaim, prompting an annual partnership with yearly themes. This Spring Summer 2023, Anderson was inspired by the idea of modernizing British preppy style and traditional sportswear. 

“Ultimately, this season is reworking our idea of classic sportswear–for instance, a traditional cricket jumper alongside technical sports leggings or hand-drawn traditional British sporting team motifs on technical swim shorts and more traditional knitted polo shirts,” he tells Vogue Philippines. 

“We really wanted to include the vintage sports jackets associated with rowing teams in this collection,” Anderson continues. “We then wanted to introduce a new take on this classic jacket, reworking it into a more lightweight iteration, by using modern, technical fabrics and execution.”

The designer elaborates on his current interest in technical fabrics and finding new ways to incorporate technology into fashion. “I find it so fascinating. I hope to explore this in the future, especially working with new fabrications that have a technical response.”

Despite the many ways fashion has changed over the course of his career, Anderson says he’s managed to retain a creative routine. “Ultimately, I think the process stays the same in a way,” he explains. “Fashion is such a fantasy and I’ve always been interested in making solid objects that can function as garments as much as they’re art.”

Amidst the ever-evolving landscape of the industry, the designer seems unfazed by the waxing and waning of trends. “I also think to achieve longevity in fashion, you must be able to run a marathon of creative sprints,” he says. “Fashion is about hard work and to be willing to commit to that marathon.”

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