True to his reputation for going against the grain, Irish fashion designer J.W. Anderson has suspended plans for a flagship in favour of opening a gallery-inspired, revolving showcase of collaborative projects. He intends the projects – dubbed ‘workshops’ – to reflect his own passion for crafts, culture and overall experimentation.
An endeavour between himself and “kindred spirit” creators at east London’s trendy Ace Hotel, the Jonathan Anderson Workshops were inspired by the Omega Workshops (an early 20th-century literary/painting collective founded by members of the UK’s Bloomsbury set), and experimental Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake.
From January 28, the 250 sq ft space will showcase projects including ceramics, music, photography and more to the public, featuring a different visual ‘editor’ each month. Anderson has only committed to “selling items occasionally”. A fashion photography book by Spanish magazine publisher Luis Venegas, featuring J.W. Anderson archive pieces, kicks off the proceedings.
The new concept underscores Anderson’s staunch views on the role of brand flagships. He believes luxury labels need to consider cultural context and more personal modes of behaviour. “[We live] not in a luxury world, but a cultural world — where we have to create more experience,” he told The Business of Fashion. “The luxury environment just isn’t personalised anymore.”
For more on the changing landscape of luxury consumption, see our Macro Trend, New Era Luxury. For more on the power of intimacy in the retail space, see Exploiting Insider Access and Retail Domiciles. For more on the convergence of art and high fashion, see Louis Vuitton Series 2 Exhibition and Art-Fuelled Fashion Spaces.
Also look out for our report Contextual Commerce, publishing in February.