The reason why I’ve opened with a guppy-mouthed dorkfest pic of me wearing J.W. Anderson pre-fall 2014 (more affectionately known as J Dubs) is…
Photograph by Phil Oh for Vogue.com
…that it’s sort of a counterfoil to the super serious, super slick A/W 14 campaign image that pops up when you click over to J.W. Anderson’s brand spanking new website, which launched yesterday. An image shot by Jamie Hawkesworth depicting AW 14 womenswear’s fifty shades of sombre and serious marries well with the sort of amazeballs trajectory that Anderson has experienced in the last year or so when his company received investment and backing from LVMH and now is king of a 4,000 sq ft HQ in Dalston, with a fancy CEO and everything.
That background info won’t really matter to yer’ average J Dubs fan, browsing through racks or clicking through e-commerce sites of any of his 130 stockists. They’re after product and product is exactly what you’ll get when you click through the sizeable e-commerce store offering womenswear, menswear and accessories. The selection reflects the J.W. Anderson universe and that’s exactly what Anderson has unapologetically striven for, ever since he branched out into womenswear. It’s not just about collection isolated in their own moods and timespan but about building up a repertoire and hammering things in so that we can now look at that J.W. Anderson logo (featured on sweatshirts for sale – of course) and in the best possible way, know what to expect. The shows are for surprises, twists and directional turns. Click on to the e-commerce site and ye shall find reliable sweatshirts and geometric-printed jumpers, A-line skirts and even a beige duffle coat, albeit oversized with sleekly concealed buttons. Anderson described his latest S/S 15 collection (which he showed yesterday at around the same time the website went live) as “hyper normal”. Well, take out the hyper and here you have pieces that are pleasingly normal.
Anderson has admitted that he greatly admires Miuccia Prada’s way of distilling product out of forward-thinking ideas. That has been exercised to great effect with J.W. Anderson’s own brand, which makes you really salivate at the prospect of him having Loewe’s expertise in leather, wonderful ateliers and of course the resources of LVMH, at his disposal. His own bags, which haven’t been a major focal point in his shows and collections until recently, are a mini hint as to his approach towards Loewe’s signature leather goods. The “moon bag” for instance, photographed below is odd in its structural construction but strangely compelling. That’s the draw of J Dubs. And whether you’re a hardcore J Dubs fan or just a casual browser, everyone can get something out of his online universe.