Jonathan Anderson Talks Designing For Diet Coke And Inspiration For His Next Collection

Jonathan Anderson Talks Designing For Diet Coke


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We took a Diet Coke break with young British designer Jonathan Anderson to chat about his collaboration with the brand, his love affair with London and his influences for his forthcoming fashion collections for J.W. Anderson and Loewe.

Grazia Daily: What's your earliest Diet Coke memory?

I think it was just as a kid; I feel like at every barbecue that my dad ever did, we’d be on the Diet Coke, it was the only drink we were allowed. They’d all be drinking alcohol, we’d be on the Diet Coke.

**Grazia Daily: **And then graduated into spiking your Diet Coke?

And then spiking it. As you get older, you realise you can have the best of both worlds.

**Grazia Daily: ****How did this collaboration come about? **

I was very honoured to be asked. I was quite surprised actually, because obviously the people before are superstars, so I was quite shocked! But very honoured. And once they asked, I think I had about 20,000 ideas.

**Grazia Daily: **Did you have a brief?

It was free reign, the idea was to do something that was about ‘regret nothing’, and I obviously wanted to do something different, because I felt like, when people like Karl Lagerfeld have done it, it’s quite daunting. So I was like, could we do a photograph onto the bottle. And they magically pulled it out of the bag, which has never been done before. So, it was great, it was mega exciting. It’s quite surreal - I’ve only seen it in the last three or four weeks - seeing it on the object, when it’s only been on a computer. It’s from a piece of knitwear that we did in the new collection, which is meant to be based on a postcard of Vesuvius, and we jacquarded it.

**Grazia Daily: ****What about Diet Coke appeals to you? **

I love things that - when you are to say ‘jean’, you see it in your head. You know what a jean is. When you say white shirt, you have a vision of it. You know what the outline is. And I think it’s so fascinating that when you say Diet Coke, you know the shape. So my whole thing was – a knitted sweater, if the bottle was to pass through it, you’d still have the outline. I was fascinated by this idea of iconology. It’s such a pop culture icon. When you think of artists who have interpreted Diet Coke, or Coke, it’s so fascinating. The shape has never really changed. It’s pretty epic, to be able to stand the test of time. I would love to be able to create an object that lasted that long.

**Grazia Daily: ****So what else are you working on at the moment? **

I’m working on new collections; many collections, actually - pre-fall, menswear, menswear for Loewe, womenswear for September for J.W.Anderson, womenswear for Loewe in Paris, advertising campaigns. We’ve got some really exciting projects next year with different artists.

**Grazia Daily: **How do you juggle your roles at your eponymous line and Loewe, and differentiate between the two?

I like to be in a current mood, but then I like to extract the characters in two different ways. It would be ridiculous of me to go and do one thing in London and then contradict it completely in Paris, and say I don’t really believe in what we did in London. So it has to come from a common thread. But then I think it’s two different types of women; J.W. Anderson is a bit younger in that way, whereas Loewe is a bit more sophisticated. I always see J.W.Anderson as more of a cultural aggravator, whereas Loewe is more cultural. Obviously Loewe is a Spanish luxury brand that’s been going for nearly 200 years, whereas J.W.Anderson’s only been going for 10 years, one has got my name and one hasn’t, so they’re two fundamentally different characters.

**Grazia Daily: ****What's inspiring you at the moment? **

I’ve never loved London more, or Britain more. I think there are incredible exhibitions happening in London, like Barbara Hepworth, and I think there’s a real resurgence of British art. I think people are starting to merit what art has done over the last 100 years, and why it was important. I’m very proud to be living and operating in Great Britain. Every week, I’m probably in three different countries, and every time I’m in a different country, I’m dying to be back in London. I really am very happy that I work in London, because it has everything, and you sometimes don’t realise it until you’re not there.

**Grazia Daily: ****Can you give us any hints about the SS16 collections? **

I always find that spring summer for me is a massive change. It’s very, very reduced in terms of the look. It’s very simplified, it’s less dramatic. It’s very knitwear oriented, but done in a way which nearly feels slightly futuristic, but not in the way in which you would think. If there was a new race of people, coming out of a far off country, what would they be wearing? If civilisaton was to start in 2016, what would it be?

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