To say Jonathan Anderson, the London-based designer behind J.W. Anderson, has had a big year would be a ridiculous understatement. The past 12 months have seen the up-and-comer—best known for crisp, clean shapes and boldly blurring gender lines—win the 2012 British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent, receive a frenzy of media attention for putting his Fall ’13 boys in ruffled skirts and tunics, star in a slew of magazine features, and design a capsule for Versace’s Versus.
“You have to take it step-by-step,” said Anderson of his meteoric rise. “The whole point of fashion for me is that I love what I do and it doesn’t seem like work. You just need to find a balance and do things organically when you feel like doing them.” Anderson’s next organic step is his first ad campaign, which, lensed by Jamie Hawkesworth, debuts exclusively above.
Styled by Benjamin Bruno, the minimal images depict a pared-down boy and girl dressed in Anderson’s Fall ’13 designs. The pair gaze moodily into the camera, and, in one shot, the male model holds a red car door. According to Anderson, it represents the idea of extraction. “I wanted to show the relationship between a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, and the abstraction of that,” he explained. “There’s something disturbing between them, and it makes you question the idea of who in the image is more powerful, or who is more seductive.”
The ads’ rollout will be as organic as their inception. Anderson, who just debuted his androgynous Spring ’14 menswear collection in London, is still feeling it out, and plans to place the photographs in such magazines as Dazed & Confused and Another, as well as in online outlets and retail spaces. “I think advertising is always looked at as a corporate thing,” offered the designer. “But I kind of see it as more of an art form. Fashion is meant to sell a dream or idea. It’s not just about pushing a bag,” he said. “It’s about pushing a concept.”
Images via TFS, quote via Style.com.