Global fashion platform List recently released its quarterly list of the most popular brands and products — and ranked Loewe at number one. The research considered data from sales, Google searches, mentions and social network engagement, showing the results of the most recent actions of major brands and their impact on consumers. But it has a long history of how the Spanish brand, founded almost 200 years ago, has become one of the most sought-after labels of our time. And a lot has to do with its creative director, Irishman Jonathan Anderson.
Loewe is the oldest fashion brand of the LVMH group, founded in 1876 in Madrid, when German Enrique Loewe joined a chain of leather craftsmen. Initially focused only on sustainable leather goods, the brand has had many high-profile clients, including Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, Ernest Hemingway and Ava Garner. It expanded in the 1970s Ready to wear and perfumes and in 1986, the LVMH group acquired international distribution rights for Loewe and in 1996 they bought the brand. At that time, this brand was one of the youngest brands in the group. Since then, the Spanish label has had a series of creative directors, including Narciso Rodríguez (from 1997 to 2000), José Enrique Oña Selfa (2000 to 2007) and Stuart Wevers (2008 to 2013).
After an earlier revival by Weavers, which focused more on clothing, it was in 2013 that Loewe’s current trajectory of rapid success began, when Irishman Jonathan Anderson, a graduate of the London College of Fashion (story that he did not acknowledge) was done) in Central St. Martins) and the owner of the eponymous label took over creative direction. He presented his first collection in 2014, after relocating the design team to Paris.
At the time, Loewe’s audience was traditional and conservative—including, for example, the aristocracy and members of the former Spanish monarchy. But, slowly, Jonathan started infusing his boldness into the label’s collections. Summer 2016 was a turning point for the brand: references to pop culture and Japanese design appeared left and right. In 2015, Anderson introduced the ‘Puzzle’ bag, one of the brand’s most iconic models – the piece is shaped like a puzzle, made from nine pieces of leather. Other beloved Loewe models developed by the designer include the Amazon bag and the Gate bag. This was also the time when hip-hop stars including ASAP Rocky and Jay-Z began wearing the brand’s clothing, attracting a younger and more trendy audience.
It was Jonathan Anderson’s fresh vision that made Loewe one of the most interesting brands in fashion today. His works are subtle, but at the same time, not muted or taciturn, with the perfect dose of boldness. With each collection, the brand’s minimalist aesthetic is brushed up by Anderson’s surrealist and popular inspirations, making the label one of the favorites of opinion makers and more alternative fashionistas alike — before, of course, falling into the grace of goes Mainstream,
As you would expect, celebrities were instrumental in Lowe’s success. Anderson was responsible for creating Rihanna’s red look, which was used in her return back at the Superbowl show. He also produced some of Beyoncé’s most talked-about productions during her Renaissance world tour: a jumpsuit with trompe l’oeil hands (a technique heavily used by the designer), to a dress he created for Loewe’s winter 2022 customized; and a futuristic set of 3D-printed top and silver cargo pants. Other celebrities who use the brand include Zendaya and Emily Ratajkowski (fans of Anthurium flower pieces), Jennifer Lawrence, Kylie Jenner, Emma Watson, and many more.
Besides the anthurium flower pieces, another item from the brand that went viral was a coat that emulates the Pixel, (appears to be a digital piece) worn by celebrities like Taylor Russell and ASAP Rocky. Lowe shoes are also a hit. The creations feature inflated bladders and high heels with unusual motifs ranging from nail polish packaging to frog bars and eggshells. Anderson’s viral, fashion-forward designs propelled the brand (and its own label, JW Anderson, one of the hottest labels of the moment) to stardom. Even without much frills in his shows: the clothes themselves are quite demonstrative. That is, in the last three months alone, searches for Lowe’s increased by 19%, due to which it overtook Prada as the most popular brand of the moment.