Monday 23 October 2017

The accidental fashion designer who's hit the big time

Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

IRISH fashion designer JW Anderson is this weekend celebrating a move to the big league after the French luxury brand LVMH bought out a minority stake in his business, and appointed the 29-year-old as creative director of the Spanish brand Loewe.

However, it is a fashion career that happened almost by chance, after the would-be actor got a job selling menswear at Brown Thomas in Grafton Street.

His career has been peppered with lots of interesting twists along the way, like being spotted by the influential Manuela Pavesi at Prada when he called by their store to collect a new season's brochure.

First came a menswear collection in 2008 followed by ladies wear two years later, and JW has made a success of both. No easy feat, but a double bonus when investors like LVMH come circling to make an investment.

JW has been in the 'Ones to Watch' category along with Simone Rocha at London Fashion Week for the last few seasons.

Ironically the two Irish creatives to seriously excite the fashion industry both, coincidentally, lived in the same building in Hackney.

LVMH own a 49pc share in Bono and Ali Hewson's Edun range, and last year expressed their good faith in that brand with loans of €13m.

The Irishman says he is thrilled to work with the House of Loewe, one of the oldest leather goods companies in the world.

Irish Independent

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