Jonathan Anderson’s Fifth Collaboration With Uniqlo Is All About British Architecture and Fantasy With a Bit of His Childhood Involved

LONDON — Jonathan Anderson is London’s busiest fashion designer.

The Northern Irish-born designer debuted his spring 2023 collections for Loewe and JW Anderson last month. And now, he’s launching his fifth collection with Japanese retail giant Uniqlo.

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“Each project I work on ultimately speaks to a different audience and has its own voice. They’re all a different avenue for my brain,” Anderson told WWD.

“I put my all into these collections across different brands so people can relate and buy into the quality and good design, whether through my own brand or a collaboration. They can get the essence of the brand.”

The women’s and men’s collection was inspired by modern British architecture and will be available to purchase in-stores and online from Oct. 14.

uniqlo jw Anderson

Fair isle knits inspired by Anderson’s childhood.

The pieces include double-faced belted coats; corduroy trousers; knitted polo dresses; flannel shirts, and Fair Isle knits inspired by his childhood.

“For this season, we were looking at different types of architecture, furniture and British midcentury design. I wanted something that reflects the fundamentals of postmodern architecture that feels crafted and historical,” Anderson said.

The designer reiterated that he looked “especially at the idea of purism and reducing back to their essence. It leaves something strong that’s sharp and clean. Maintaining the craft within the pattern or structure is very important. This season is a lot more stripped back and there’s an element of homeliness to it.”

Anderson, whose everyday uniform consists of denim jeans and casual T-shirts and hoodies said the collection is “the closest to what I wear myself and each time it often stems from what I want to wear for the season.”

jw Anderson Uniqlo

The designer reiterated that he looked especially at the idea of purism and reducing back to their essence.

Uniqlo, which is owned by Fast Retailing along with GU and Theory, reported record profits of 1.82 billion pounds for the last year, ending Aug. 31 on Thursday. The strong results were driven by Uniqlo International with a 20.3 percent rise in revenue year to year, taking the business to 7.2 billion pounds; operating profits went up by 42.4 percent year on year, placing them at 970 million pounds.

As Britain faces a recession and cost of living crisis, that context is not lost on Anderson.

“Globally, it’s a very difficult moment happening on all levels. I always think of fashion as a fantasy and when creating a collection, you’re creating with the future in mind,” he said, adding that “the key is always to show some sort of optimism, we must believe things will get better and we will get through it ultimately.”

At JW Anderson, he’s returned back to physical shows.

“Now that we’re kind of back to normal on shows, it’s interesting how we’re doing presentations in the way that we used to, but adding in these different social layers,” he said.

Staging his September show at the gaming arcade next to his London Soho store has led him to “think about the possibilities again and different locations, especially in a more guerilla way.”

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