UPDATE: Speaking with Donatella Versace this morning on the creative direction for the capsule collection, Jonathan was particularly inspired by an image from a campaign shot by Bruce Weber with Donatella in 1996. 'For me this iconic image says it all, that's how I see Versus,' he said. 'It's all about the relationship between a boy and a girl, a girl and a girl, a boy and a boy. Purity.' Oh yes, this is gonna be good.
Sound the breaking news klaxon: Versace have just announced that Jonathan Anderson (that's J.W to you and I) will be the first designer to follow on from Christopher Kane at Versus! The Brit designer has created a capsule collection as the first of a series of collaborations from the Italian brand. This is exciting news indeed.
J.W. Anderson with his British Fashion Award
So what can we expect from said collection? A press release from Versace has just landed in our inbox, which states that it will include both women’s and men’s ready-to-wear pieces as well as accessories. Jonathan's current designs tend to be a bit hip and left-field (think all-over print suits, asymmetric tailoring), yet for the most part are totally wearable. His Topshop collection, for example, featured 'JW' anchor logos embossed onto umbrellas and bags, plus trinkets such as iPhone cases and notepads, that sat side by side with his youthful ready-to-wear designs.
It was just last week that Versace announced an overhaul of their sister line. After working with Versus for three years, Christopher Kane announced his departure in order to focus on his own brand while Versus would continue to create capsule collections under Donatella Versace’s creative leadership. And we can't think of a better candidate to fill Kane's shoes. The Scot designer brought an edgy flavour to the Versace va-va-voom so J.W. Anderson is a logical next step considering he's famed for his innovative mash-up of street and chic.
At the tender age of 27, the talented Mr Anderson is certainly racking up the sartorial accolades. Not only does he have a high-profile catwalk slot at London Fashion Week, but his Topshop line was a major hit with the likes of Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe as fans.
After studying menswear at the London College of Fashion and after graduating in 2005, he launched the J.W. Anderson label in 2008. His initial men’s collection was followed several years later by a women’s collection. Fast forward to Tuesday night and Jonathan was picking up the gong for the Emerging Talent Award at the British Fashion Awards 2012.
So it's no wonder Donatella was itching to snap up the trendsetting crowd's designer du jour. 'I keep a close eye on young talent, and have been impressed by Jonathan’s work over the last couple of years,' said Donatella of the new collab. 'Versus is all about fun, change, and digital. I can’t wait to present this collaboration!'
And we can't wait to see it. The collection will be sold online at www.versus.it and at top department stores worldwide. As for when we'll get a first glimpse of J.W x Versace, the collection will be launched at a special event to be held in New York during Spring next year. We're booking our flights pronto.