M/M (Paris) & Jonathan Anderson discuss Loewe (daily)


‘Every single aspect had to be changed.’

Jonathan Anderson and M/M (Paris) discuss the new language of Loewe.

By Emily King

November sees the release of Loewe’s self-published, eponymous tome, exploring the visual identity of the brand, past, present and future.

Revisit our issue No. 7 feature below, in which graphic design duo, M/M (Paris) discuss rethinking the language of Loewe with creative director, Jonathan Anderson.

System – Loewe Publication 1, Menswear Spring/Summer 2015

Publication 1, Menswear Spring/Summer 2015

Designer Jonathan Anderson first came to my attention six or so years ago. I saw a photograph of him in his studio posed next to a pile of Yohji Yamamoto catalogues that had been designed by creative duo M/M (Paris) in the mid-1990s. At the time I was editing a monograph about the agency and these works were occupying a significant slice of my attention. How, I thought, has this young man come across publications that were designed while he was still a schoolboy? Following Jonathan over the years, I have often been arrested by his unerring instinct, not only in art direction, but also in the broader cultural territories of art, architecture and craft. Now with his own successful brand, J.W.Anderson, and as the creative director of luxury label Loewe, his access to a huge range of influences is no longer such a mystery, but his choices remain almost unnervingly apt.

Just as Jonathan is a long-term fan of M/M (Paris), so M/M’s founders, Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak, are established fans of Jonathan. Seeking him out and entering into an ongoing conversation well before the Loewe job came up, they now work closely with him on the house’s visual language. With long experience of working for fashion brands including Balenciaga, Jil Sander and Louis Vuitton, they share his belief that the success of a contemporary luxury business hinges as much on content as product and, with that in mind, have created what Michael describes as the ‘Loewe channel’: a stream of images for a variety of media, from in-store exhibitions to the Instagram accounts of the brand’s followers.

Our conversation takes place in the Loewe offices in Paris a few days before the label’s Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show.

How did you meet?
Michael Amzalag: Through the stylist Benjamin Bruno. In 2011-12 we did this magazine Man About Town and we started working with Benjamin, who we knew vaguely from French Vogue. We wanted someone of the younger generation to be in charge of the fashion – to bring something new, to use photographers we didn’t know.

Where were you at that point, Jonathan?
Jonathan Anderson: I had already graduated; I’d started my business. I met Ben in a showroom and it all went from there. I got him in to work on the brand. We needed a photographer and Jamie Hawkesworth had shot my picture for Hero magazine, so we shot with him, and it all spiralled out of control.

Where did you first see M/M’s work?
Jonathan: I was always an avid fan. I loved all the early Yohji stuff.

Those catalogues were done back in the mid 1990s, when you were still a teenager. Where did you find them?
Jonathan: I just saw them. There are not that many people who do this kind of thing at that level, you know what I mean? So when I got approached for this job…