Sunday 18 February 2018

Louis Vitton takes minority stake in fashion designer J.W. Anderson's label

JW Anderson
JW Anderson
Alexa Chung in the Aran jumper and JW Anderson latex skirt she wore to the designer's show
Paul Galvin, pictured here with Alan Brogan, wore one of JW Anderson's t-shirts to the Oireachtas fashion show this week

Louis Vitton Moet Hennessy has reached a deal with designer J.W. Anderson, appointing him creative director for its high-end handbag brand Loewe.

LVMH is also taking a minority stake in J.W. Anderson's label.

Anderson's involvement comes after various rumours surrounding his relationship with the company.

Born in Northern Ireland, Jonathan William Anderson, 29, is known for his urban, androgynous style. He graduated in 2005 from the London College of Fashion where he studied menswear, launched his own label three years later and did a small, one-off collection for Versace's Versus line.

LVMH's efforts to reinforce its stable of hot, young designers come as the group works on turning round its flagship Louis Vuitton brand by improving its offering of leather bags and its market positioning.

"He's part of this emerging generation of talented new designers," Pierre-Yves Roussel, chief executive officer of LVMH's fashion division, revealed. "We believe in the potential of his brand."

Anderson will take over from Stuart Vevers, who confirmed in June he plans to leave the company for a new position as executive creative director at Coach Inc.

LVMH, which owns Dior and Louis Vuitton, took a minority stake in young French fashion label Maxime Simoens earlier this year, while Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci owner Kering has invested in British fashion brand Christopher Kane and U.S. brand Altuzarra.

"The idea is to invest in new growth opportunities," the source said about LVMH's decision to invest in J.W. Anderson.

The designer launched his own line in 2008 and has nothing but praise for LVMH, dubbing it the "Oxford [University] of luxury goods" when he was approached in Paris yesterday.

Anderson confirmed his first move is to build a management infrastructure so he can focus on creating his women's and men's collections along with taking on new duties at Loewe.

The designer said he had "hit it off" with Roussel and Delphine Arnault, daughter of LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault and executive vice president at Louis Vuitton. He credits her for being a big part of the deal and helping him land the spot.

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