After 12 years of producing their first luxury, minimalist collection, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are set to release a fully fledged menswear range. Over the past few years the twins have been experimenting with menswear, releasing one off capsule collections and shoe collaborations, and are now ready to release a full collection comprising of suits, tailored separates, denim and knitwear.
The collection will go against the grain of the current growing sector in menswear, slogan t-shirts and hoodies, and focus on the simple, minimalist designs reflecting the work of late 80’s early 90’s work of Helmut Lang as well as the labels namesake tailoring of the area in London, Saville Row. The tailored pieces are made in Japan “in order to achieve minimal luxurious construction” with traditional European hand-stitch techniques; the shirting is produced in France, the knitwear in Italy and the denim and T-shirts in the U.S. The range will cost from $3,950 to $5,795 and will be available from The Rows two clothing stores in NY and LA as well as Dover Street Market, Mr Porter and other high end stores.
After founding their luxury fashion and accessories label in 2005, based on the personal challenge to find the perfect t-shirt, the Olsens have since won three CFDA awards, two for womenswear, and one for accessories.
AnOther Magazine: How would you connect Fashion to Elegance?
Do they have to connect? I think elegance can intersect with fashion, but it is not necessary. Chanel said that “elegance is refusal”, and that is certainly a section of fashion. Your Célines, your Narciso Rodriguez. The stripped back stuff. But equally, you could not connect elegance with the ugliness and the vulgarity that is an essential and fascinating part of the fashion conversation. The fun stuff. Fun isn’t elegant. Elegance has a connection to a specific area of fashion, which is in fact quite limited; it is neither good nor bad. It is just there.
Fashion is a language: sometimes, it says too much. It’s frequently like being in a crowd and hearing too many people talking at once. Sometimes, I think that high fashion is a dialect, but clothing, overall, is the language. I think of it in the same way as, when you were at the court of Versailles, words were pronounced in a certain way, only perceived by the other courtiers. High fashion speaks with its own dialect, which is very difficult for people outside of it to understand.
In May of this year J W Anderson put out a call for emerging new photography talent to enter a competition to shoot the brands Spring 19 campaign. Being a part of the NewGen talent given a leg up in London fashion week in 2011, Anderson must of felt it was time to give something back to the next generation of talent coming up through the ranks. The J W Anderson ‘Your Picture / Our Future’ search eventually yielded the talents of photographers Julie Greve from the UK, Yelena Beletskaya from Russia and Simons Finnerty from the U.S.
The three photographers were commissioned to shoot the campaign which has just been released and asked to stay true to their individual aesthetic in order to reinvent the brands image. “This campaign is all about a ‘creative refreshing’,” explained Creative Director Jonathan Anderson in a press release. “We chose to work with three young, talented photographers, all of whom have their own untainted, creative visions. Fundamentally, they were able to grasp the unfiltered essence of the JW Anderson brand.”
Each photographer was given a selection of ready-to-wear garments and accessories from the brands Autumn collection and were asked to add their unique, distinctive style to the images. The photographers worked closely along side stylist for the brand Benjamin Bruno as well as Anderson himself. “It’s been kind of amazing. We had nearly 2,000 entries from all across the world: Japan, China, Argentina, Russia, Canada, the USA, everywhere” said Anderson. The final images are strikingly individual, but remain thoroughly in line with “the unfiltered essence of the JW Anderson brand”.