Just a few months after news broke of J.W. Anderson's upcoming collaboration with Uniqlo, on Wednesday night at the designer's menswear show at Pitti, Florence, the 32-year-old designer unveiled a new partnership with cult sneaker company Converse. In March, at a preview of his Disobedient Bodies exhibition in the UK, Anderson told Refinery29: "For me, I’m addicted to collaborating with people" — and this latest project marks the beginning of a new collaborative approach for the lauded British label, 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," he told Business of Fashion. "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."
Despite debuting during the men's 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 color schemes, including 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 realize [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."
The collection isn't set to be released until late fall 2017/early 2018, so we'll have to be content with loving them afar for now. And though not too many other details are available — price, availability, exclusivity — judging by the response to the announcement of Anderson's upcoming Uniqlo line, as well as the success of his previous collaborations with Topshop and A$AP Rocky, this latest development reaffirms Jonathan Anderson as one of the industry's most revered and influential design talents.