Casa Loewe has finally opened in Los Angeles, with a 3,700 square foot store on Rodeo Drive filled with sunshine, ceramics and a bust of Justin Bieber.
The painted wooden rendering of the pop star’s cute head by American artist Paul Pfeiffer was the subject of a lot of tinkering on Tuesday morning, when Loewe’s creative director, Jonathan Anderson, was inspecting the artwork that he had arranged for the store, and suggested Bieber’s tattooed arms sitting on a display case in another room might be located closer to his head.
The designer, it must be said, is very hands-on.
“I saw this piece at the Thomas Dane gallery about a year and a half ago, and immediately thought we had to have it for the [Loewe] Foundation,” he said. “A lot of artists have looked to Justin Bieber, so I thought there was something about this idea of iconography and being in LA”
Anderson has never met Bieber before, but now that he has a casa in Los Angeles, he’s set.
“It’s so exciting to finally open here. When you think of the environment, of the light, of Madrid, of Spain, of the level of the horizon, it was far too late. And it’s nice to have a place to dress people up and for customers to really understand the brand. We have huge traction in America right now.
Indeed, the Spanish luxury brand rolled out a red carpet, with Kylie Jenner wearing a sheer black Loewe dress for a charity event last weekend, newly minted house ambassador Taylor Russell choosing a white cut-out dress. the size of the Spring 2023 collection for a recent screening of her new film “Bones and All,” and Tessa Thompson, Daisy Edgar-Jones and more are rocking the cult pink heels on Instagram and IRL.
“From our website, we know that California and the LA area are among the top four or five markets in the world,” said Pascale Lepoivre, CEO of Loewe, which has six stores in the United States and another which will open next year in San. Jose, California. “By nationality, the American customer is the number three in the world, and America is our second fastest growing market after Europe.”
In another commitment, Loewe will bring its annual Craftsmanship Award to America for the first time in 2023, to New York.
Despite economic headwinds, the executive is optimistic about the future expansion of Loewe, which she still calls an “underdeveloped” and “midsize” luxury brand compared to others in the LVMH Moët Hennessy stable. Louis Vuitton.
“The South Coast Plaza store has exceeded expectations, we’ve taken over Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills with the Paula’s Ibiza collection, and popped up in the Bay Area, and each time the response has been greater than what we’ve been waiting for, not just accessories, but ready-to-wear, so that makes us pretty confident,” she said of the California market.
Lined with palm trees, with an ocean-blue hand-glazed ceramic tile facade, a huge skylight letting in Californian light, and an art gallery, the Los Angeles store has plenty of local flair.
“I wanted the idea of land and seascape,” Anderson said, very Hollywood-like wearing a sweatshirt given to him by producer Amy Pascal after his first stint as costume designer for Luca Guagdagnino’s 2023 film. Challengers,” which is about young competitive tennis players and stars Zendaya.
‘I bought them during the pandemic,’ he said during a store visit, showing a row of colored glazed terracotta tiles by the late Southern Californian artist Doyle Lane, set into a tile wall glazed browns. “For me, the tiles really represent Spanish culture. If you look at Valencia and Madrid, tile work is used a lot,” he said, explaining how the store’s multiple tiled walls in blue and brown refer to Loewe’s Spanish heritage around 1846.
The retail space features playful men’s and women’s clothing by Anderson, including a military green canvas anorak with a silly string rainbow fringe collar, a glove-print jersey bodycon dress, a blue jeans, tank tops and hoodies with the house’s anagram logo; the latest monochrome bags inspired by the art of ancient Chinese ceramics, the popular puffy Puzzle and Goya bags, and the cult shoes with balloon heels and nail polish.
“What really works is Jonathan’s unique approach to fashion, which is a blend of high craft and cultural content with a healthy dose of laid-back playfulness,” Lepoivre said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously.
Anderson traces his fascination with craftsmanship, especially ceramics, to his grandfather, who collected 15th-century Delftware. It was influential “to be younger and to be around someone who was an obsessive,” he said.
“Peter Voulkos made them in the 70s, and they’re so fantastic,” he said of a group of wall chargers by the artist who created the ceramics departments at the Los Angeles County Art Institute. and UC Berkeley. “People forget that sometimes in the American studio pottery moment and I love how you have those kiln shards.”
On a table near the front of the store, a sculptural pot is filled with equally sculptural dried flowers.
“It’s a 19th century African pot that I found recently, and I love that it looks like a basket, and it’s amazing that it survived and would have been used,” Anderson explained. about the Dogon pot from Mali. “It’s a very historic piece.”
It shows furniture by Axel Vervoordt, a rug by British textile artist John Allen and a bright yellow aluminum sculpture by Nasher Prize winner Nairy Baghramian, which may look like a “C”, for California.
Then her eyes light up on a new capsule collection of animal-print silk shirts, sweaters and accessories from the archives of British potter Bernard Leach, including a nifty appliqué sweater and an octopus-patterned shearling Flamenco bag.
“He was influenced by Chinese, Korean and Japanese ceramics,” Anderson said of Leach. “And without him… Britain and Europe wouldn’t have started this craft craze… Voulkos was influenced by Leach… we have African ceramics here. So in a way it shows what I believe, that you can see the history of the world through the ceramics, or the vessel ultimately.
Anderson has been in Los Angeles for a while. He is set to host a celebratory dinner on Wednesday night at Chateau Marmont, followed by a party at historic live music club Whiskey a Go Go, which has hosted everyone from the Doors to Janis Joplin to Mötley. Flood.
“I love this idea of being in Los Angeles, right in the middle,” he said of the gritty location. “Because what I love about Hollywood is that it’s super bright and super dark at the same time. When you’re in a hotel here, you could wake up and be a crazy actress in the 1950s. It there’s one particularity that I think is so inspiring, a twist.
He has a trip to LACMA on his list and a studio visit with painter Julien Nguyen. And he’s seeing director and friend Luca Guadagnino at the Governor’s Awards on Nov. 19.
There was a time when Anderson, then a student at Juilliard, thought he could have a career in costume design, which made working with Guadagnino on “Challengers” all the more rewarding.
“He has respect for me, I have respect for him. We have a similar approach when it comes to aesthetics,” he said of the Italian director whose credits include ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and “Suspiria”.
“People underestimate costume in movies and how powerful it is,” said Anderson, who recruited costume legend Sandy Powell for his recent pre-collection campaign at Juergen Teller’s lens, alongside Guadagnino, Russell and others.
“She is such an icon. The films she has done are next level. Even making a very minor, no-period movie with costumes for 450 extras, I realized she was great. It makes fashion tiny,” Anderson said. “She did ‘The Favourite’ all cut in denim. … Because I was doing the movie, I wanted to shoot a real costumer, not me,” he said.
Now based in Los Angeles, he looks forward to cultivating more relationships like the ones he has with Guadagnino and with Taylor, who was announced as a Loewe ambassador two weeks ago.
“She’s an amazing chameleon and I chased her for a long time trying to convince her. She represents someone becoming instead of someone already molded,” he said. joined Loewe, I don’t think anyone really saw me coming. With her, no one really saw it coming.
Anderson, who recently launched a capsule through his own label inspired by the classic horror movie “Carrie,” is more of a student of Hollywood than you might think.
Her Spring 2023 dynamite womenswear collection shown in Paris last month, with its plasticized faux anthuriums, shrunken doll-like dresses, playful satchels and puffy shoes, had hints of costume and Walt Disney. “The shoe was a little Minnie Mouse,” he agreed. “I’m very into things that are all about clarity right now. Either you like it or you don’t, instead of just nice clothes. (God knows there are too many.)
“What was interesting about this show, even with the digital tops, which were just knits, but when they’re turned become something else, is that it was a very direct message. The venue was just white ground with a big flower,” he said. “I did fashion shows where I made a set to make the clothes. By undressing, you have to prove yourself.
When he’s not bidding online for ceramics, Anderson is streaming Season 2 of “White Lotus.”
“Mark White is one of the most awesome writer/directors. … The way it’s written or improvised … it’s so refreshing to watch something that doesn’t feel like a formula,” Anderson said of the HBO show, but just as easily could apply to her own work in fashion.
Could Anderson ever add the Hollywood director to his list of multi-hyphenates?
“No,” he laughs. “I feel like I’m leading all day already.”