JW Anderson Breaks Free From Gender And Season

Tom Banham
Photo credit: Yoox

From Esquire

Imagine, if you will, a world in which you have to leave the house to buy clothes. Where you have to go into a shop, try things on, risk getting coughed on people. Weird right?

The pandemic has made internet-shoppers of even the biggest bricks-and-mortar lover, but we've been sliding inexorably away from IRL clothes-buying for a while now. Yoox, the Italian e-tail giant, was there on the ground floor. Founded 20 years ago, it's been instrumental in making fashion accessible to everyone, everywhere, rather than just those who live within a cab fare of Bond Street.

Yoox's success has partly been driven by its designer collaborations – of which there have been 300 to date – which go some way to replicating the sense of exclusivity you get from shopping in your favourite, undiscovered boutique. Key among those hook-ups is Jonathan Anderson, whose namesake label, JW Anderson, has been part of the "Yoox family" since 2011.

Photo credit: Yoox

To mark the anniversary, Anderson has delved into his archive to create a 10-piece collection, which draws on details from some of his biggest hits. The capsule is designed to be both genderless and seasonless, in a nod to the changing ways we think about and engage with fashion in 2020.

"This collection is about making clothes that people want to wear and we’ve always kind of embraced this idea of you can whatever makes you feel good, no matter what gender," Anderson says. "I think the younger generations feel much more comfortable dressing how they feel and less about dressing a certain way. A lot has changed over the years but I still think there is a long way to go. We recently opened our store in Soho in London because I think that area of London really kind of embodies this idea of gender being less important."

Photo credit: Yoox

That London connection is key, both to Anderson's own brand (when not designing for JW, he's also the creative director for iconic Spanish label Loewe) and the thinking behind one of the standout pieces. "Britishness is extremely important for the brand, as well as for myself on a personal level," he says. "We really looked at what we thought would make sense for the capsule and created a patchwork trench coat and some asymmetric pieces to work throughout the seasons in our customers' wardrobes. Patchwork is a recurring JW Anderson code and, in a way, I think the colour palette chosen feels very British."

Like everyone else, Anderson is hoping that we'll soon have somewhere more exciting to wear his clothes than a walk around our local park. But even as some sense of normality slowly returns, he's been revelling in a rare opportunity to take stock. "We’re re-examining things and re-thinking what fashion is and how fashion works," he says. "This has been a difficult period but one positive thing I have been able to take away is slowing down a bit and appreciating my surroundings."

The JW Anderson x Yoox collection is available now at yoox.com, priced from £310.

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