LONDON — Liberty is hosting a three-week pop-up for Loewe: This Is Home, a collection designed by the brand’s creative director Jonathan Anderson in collaboration with a series of craftsmen, such as the furniture maker Robert “Mouseman” Thompson.
The pop-up, which will run until May 21, coincides with London Craft Week.
The collection, which was first presented last month during Milan’s Salone de Mobile, spans different categories from lampshades, blankets and handmade ceramic vessels with leather details to a collection of life-size male nude figures made from knitted wool. The aim is to blur the lines between the decorative and the functional.
A selection of objects will be available to purchase at Liberty’s “Disappearing Space,” a new, experiential space located on the store’s fourth floor homewear section.
To celebrate the launch, the retailer hosted a talk with Anderson to discuss the designer’s ongoing fascination with craft, his personal collection, and the appeal of creation beyond fashion.
“It’s addictive when you start making something other than fashion, there’s an escapism to it. Things to do with the home are a lot more personal,” said Anderson. “If you think about it, Eighties fashion was incredibly extreme, everyone went out, so they dressed up. It was all about clubbing. But over the last 20 years we evolved to the idea that it’s better to bring people to your house because that way you’ll get to know them better. People are now spending more money on their homes than themselves.”
Anderson himself said he’s moved away from collecting clothes and has turned into an obsessive collector of craft objects ever since starting his own label.
“At university, I bought a lot of clothes, but when you start making clothes you can’t buy them, you also can’t wear what you make. It’s a nightmare,” he said, entertaining the audience by describing how he revels in an addiction involving 400 Google search alerts for multiple auction sites which he continuously checks during his weekly commutes from London to Paris.
“I can buy something ridiculous — like a broken tile — but everything has to have a tactile quality to it, or a history. Craft is having a renaissance because these objects can represent who we are.”
As for his own involvement in craft and his new Loewe: This Is Home project, Anderson said it spiraled from an initial idea to start creating different objects with leather and to create objects that would make the Loewe stores more appealing.
“It’s petrifying when you join a brand, you are given the task of making it more modern and if you are impatient like me, you want to do it quickly. A lot of stores were outside of my control and I tried to take control. Luxury is in a difficult place and we have a responsibility as a designer for these public spaces. We are so consumed by the Internet that stores should be seen as meeting spaces, enriched by culture,” he added.
When it comes to the home collection, the designer said he tried to include a range of materials, techniques — and price points. “I’m a firm believer that you have to pay for the work that went into the object, but it’s also important to find a way for all demographics to buy into it.”
Prices range for 295 euros, or $380, for a leather charm to 15,000 euros, or $19,332, for a room divider made using oak sticks and a metal frame.
Another highlight is a stack of multicolored leather pieces that can double as a stool. “As a brand that makes a lot of bags, we end up with a lot of stock of leather. I thought ‘Let’s use it this way, it’s a means of being playful with it,'” added the designer.
Anderson also talked about his collaboration with Thompson, who is known for carving mice figures on his furniture. The two created pieces ranging from wooden key rings to candle sticks and stools covered in miniature creatures. “I have this vision of mice crawling everywhere, there’s something very Dickensian about it,” he said.
As for the next home collection — which will be presented during next year’s Salone de Mobile — Anderson said that he is exploring different ways of doing needlepoint, and that the range will present his “next round of obsessions.”