Jonathan Anderson, the fashion industry wunderkind, has steadily built his eponymous brand – J.W.Anderson – over the past decade, initially focusing on menswear before launching womenswear in 2010. Perfecting his trademark of androgynous, cool and sculptural pieces, his aesthetic has only become more relevant for contemporary working women.
Since then, he’s cut through the oversaturated market of designer collaborations by providing genuinely innovative and exciting collections with the likes of Topshop, Converse and Uniqlo. He created a capsule collection for Versus Versace back in 2013, hosted an exhibition centred on the human body called Disobedient Bodies at The Hepworth Wakefield last year, and his was the first brand ever to sweep up both the prestigious men’s and women’s award for brand of the year at the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Awards in 2015.
As if the Northern Irish designer couldn’t be any more prolific, when parent company LVMH acquired a minority stake in J.W.Anderson back in 2013, Anderson was announced as creative director of historic Spanish brand Loewe, too. While the focus is on leather goods, the designer introduced ready-to-wear in 2014, taking the brand from Madrid-based heritage craftsmanship to contemporary cool.
Now, Anderson is launching a line of Loewe T-shirts celebrating cult American artist, writer, filmmaker and activist David Wojnarowicz. Settling in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978, Wojnarowicz’s art draws on his experience of being a gay man, and took on a political stance after his AIDS diagnosis, his work becoming some of the most infamous symbols of the crisis during the ‘80s. The visceral photograph of the artist wearing a customised jacket, reading "If I die of AIDS – forget burial – just drop my body on the steps of the F.D.A" has become an iconic representation of both the period and contemporary political action.
"I really wanted to do something to help a charity like Visual AIDS," Jonathan said of the line, "and I've always been aware of Wojnarowicz work. There's something in it that provokes a reaction. The 1980's in New York was an amazing moment of political change in terms of the AIDS crisis."
Coinciding with an exhibition exploring the artist’s work, hosted by the Loewe Foundation in Madrid, Anderson selected four works made by Wojnarowicz between 1982 and 1990 as prints to go on high-grade cotton crewneck T-shirts. The proceeds will be donated to Visual AIDS, an organisation that utilises art to kickstart dialogue and support HIV+ artists. Jonathan Anderson’s collaborations are a surefire hit no matter what, but by paying homage to such a seminal artist, and supporting a vital cause, these tees should be top of your payday wish list.