The World of Loewe: Lisa Montague, Jonathan Anderson and Steven Meisel
The creative universe of Loewe is highly topical and image increasingly enhanced luxury markets.
The creative world of Loewe appears to be entering its prime as it gains an ever more visible presence on the luxury market. The brand exudes excellence, innovation, passion and integrity; a reputation that is rooted in talent and fine craftsmanship. Loewe was awarded by IE Awards for Sustainability in the Premium and Luxury Sector last year. Spanish firm Loewe, was recognized for its long trajectory, having distributed traditional Spanish craftsmanship since 1846, and for the efforts it has made to preserve traditional leatherworking crafts by including them in each step of its production process. Its responsible and sustainable approach is recorded in a sustainability report which details the processes, the people involved, and the results.
Loewe became a part of the LMVH group, leaders in the luxury industry, in 1996. In June 2009, Lisa Montague was named CEO, and in October 2013, Jonathan Anderson was appointed Creative Director. Under their leadership, Loewe has revitalised 170 years of fine craftsmanship and innovation and set the brand in a new direction; their talent and enthusiasm have undoubtedly left their mark on the history of Loewe. This British partnership, defined by creativity and good management, has further benefitted from the addition of photographer Steven Meisel, a collaborator at Loewe, who just recently opened an exhibition with Phillips entitled “Role Play” at 450 Park Avenue, New York.
Lisa Montague has consolidated the global image of Loewe as an international luxury brand. Her efforts have done much to increase sales; her commitment to the sustainability of the business; her training in leatherwork and incorporation of new talent; a doubling of the creative space at the factory in Getafe; and her role in developing the potential of the male market, including leather accessories for men. All of this achieved whilst expanding productive capacity to accommodate future sales forecasts. Loewe exports more than 75% of its merchandise, employs more than 1,200 people worldwide and through its stores and franchises, manages more than 150 points of sale across 32 countries.
Ever image-conscious, Loewe demonstrates its innovative prowess once more in its fall/winter 2015 campaign, which it unveiled just a few weeks ago at Paris Men’s Fashion Week. The campaign is the brainchild of the brand’s Northern Irish Creative Director, who at just 30 years old, has big plans for Loewe: he aims to transform it into a global brand to compete on an equal footing with the other houses of the Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy (LVHM) group. The luxury power-group presented its results last week. In 2014, LVMH achieved a record profit of 5,648 million euros (6,500 USD), 64% up on the previous year thanks to a good commercial performance in all sectors. The area that experienced the highest rate of growth was fashion and accessories, with a turnover of 10,828 million euros, 10% higher than the previous year.
Loewe is a leading-edge company where quality and durability are paramount, and priority is given to the creative process. It’s about more than high quality leather products; the brand successfully employs a whole range of visual tools and innovative approaches. The first images from the new campaign were revealed on kiosks all over Paris on January 19th, showcasing items from the upcoming fall/winter 2015 collection, with styling by Benjamin Bruno and photography from Steven Meisel.
With so much importance given to photography and art, Steven Meisel has proven to be an indispensable source of inspiration to Anderson, and the visual star of the campaign. A series of “self-portraits”, non-dated images from the personal archives of Meisel, have been reworked by the artist exclusively for Loewe. Meisel is a photographer with close ties to the fashion house and is a key player in the world of contemporary fashion. The third and final component of the campaign is a series of images from the photographer Damien Ropero, featuring central pieces from the current Loewe collection, such as the travel ‘X-Cross’ line, which is now available in store.
This capacity to invent and innovate using form and design is highly valued by today’s consumers. The young Anderson plays with modernity, reinterpreting some of the company’s classic accessories alongside its main collections. Last June, the company started the process of renovating its image, its new identity clearly on display in its logo and packaging. A new name is also causing a stir in the world of Loewe; Puzzle is the little brother of the now iconic Amazonas and Flamenco. Following the redesign of Amazonas and Flamenco, Puzzle bids goodbye to stiff formality and says hello to functionality. The Puzzle bag is pure Anderson. A bag that can be folded flat, its lightweight design and signature shoulder strap providing the practicality we all want. Given time, it’s sure to become a classic. There is still plenty to do to ensure the legacy of authenticity, craftsmanship, creativity and innovation continues. A commitment to keep combining the best of past, present and future.
My Weekly tip: The book “Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art”, presents another perfect partnership, this time between the legendary fashion magazine and the New York museum. Almost 300 pages full of great photography, models and events.