Just a few months after news broke of J.W.Anderson's upcoming collaboration with Uniqlo, last night at the designer's menswear show at Pitti, Florence, Anderson unveiled a new partnership with cult footwear brand Converse. In March, at a preview of his Disobedient Bodies exhibition at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, Jonathan Anderson told Refinery29: "For me, I’m addicted to collaborating with people," and this project with Converse marks the beginning of a new collaborative approach for the lauded British brand, opening it up to a far wider audience and ensuring more longevity in the transient world of fashion.
"I’ve been wearing Converse for years and years, so when they approached me I couldn’t turn it down because it’s something that I wear... Converse or Uniqlo serve an incredible purpose to me. They are universal and I would love J.W. Anderson to be that universal, but we don’t have that [production] volume," Anderson elaborated to Business of Fashion.
Despite debuting during the men's SS18 shows, Anderson’s reworking of Converse classics will be unisex and draw on ideas from his ready-to-wear collections for both men and women. The first collection focuses on “day to night” and features wave detailing, the J.W.Anderson lettering, and bold colour schemes such as a blue and green glitter spin on the All Star and a blue One Star style with frayed seams.
"This collection is a break off. We’re going where we’ve never been,” Anderson explains. “I want people to feel that they are part of a global picture and not just a kid on the runway. I keep perceiving myself to be young, but the more I do, I realise [the brand] is a part of a global picture. A fashion show is a very tiny part of the content. This was the best way to say that’s ‘done’ for me."
We hope Anderson continues to demonstrate his singular creative vision on the catwalks for both his eponymous brand and Loewe, the Spanish fashion house where he is also creative director, but we're equally excited about this new era of collaboration with other global brands. Further details of the Converse collection – when it will be released, how much each style will cost – have yet to be released but judging by the response to the announcement of Anderson's upcoming Uniqlo line or the success of his collaborations with Topshop or A$AP Rocky, this latest development reaffirms Jonathan Anderson as one of Britain's most revered and influential design talents.