First showing off-schedule in London in 2008, Jonathan Anderson was thinking big from the get-go. In using ‘J.W.’ in place of ‘Jonathan’, he was making the first, very deliberate steps in building a 21st century fashion brand.
Steely eyed, foppish of quiff and coquettish in movement, Jonathan is an exceptionally self-aware young man. Spending his formative years training for a life in front of an audience as an actor, he’s media savvy and alarmingly likeable. Navigating a path from the stage, through the wings, to the wardrobe department, he became infatuated with the idea of characterisation and the transformative nature of fashion. Leaving his dramatic education behind, whilst on his native Irish turf, he fell into the hands of Manuela Pavesi, the left-hand of fashion’s First Lady, Miuccia Prada. A crash course in understanding the mechanics of Miuccia’s business and one of the most powerful brands in the world laid quite a foundation for Jonathan to start a label of his own, and after a haphazard time at LCF he did just that. In the frenzied years since, he’s cemented ‘J.W.Anderson’s’ position on the fashion radar, producing six collections a year, an ever-expanding list of international stockists, enough pages of fashion editorial to pack the trunk of his newly acquired vintage MG and a fabulous fan-club that counts i-D Fashion Director Charlotte Stockdale amongst its members. Ahead of his SS13 menswear show at London Collections: Men this weekend, i-D hopped by Studio Jonathan to talk shop.
Text: Sean Baker
Film and photography: Rebecca Thomas