The Spanish luxury fashion house started in 1846 in Madrid, by a group of Spanish leather craftsmen that specialized in leather purses and handbags for the Spanish Royalty. The brand was founded in1876 when Enrique Loewe and Roessberg, a German craftsman, joined the group. It took little time for King Alfonso XIII of Spain to grant the fashion house the name of “Purveyors to the Royal Court”.
By the 1970s, Loewe was expanding into perfumes and fashion with the creation of the Loewe logo, first designed by Karl Lagerfeld Giorgio Armani and Laura Biagiotti subsequently designed Loewe’s womenswear collections. In 1996, LVMH acquired the brand completely and registered sales above $200 million.
Fast forward to the present and the label is often seen on the backs of rap royalty, having undergone a radical transformation under the helm of forward-thinking British designer Jonathan Anderson.
Branching out from designer leather goods – behind iconic arm candy like the Amazona and Flamenco bags – Loewe launched its ready-to-wear collections in 1965 and was acquired by LVMH group in 1996.
In 2008 the label appointed British designer Stuart Vevers (having worked at Calvin Klein, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton alongside Marc Jacobs previously), and with him the label entered the wider fashion consciousness as a force to be reckoned with. In 2011 the label launched its first standalone London store in Mayfair.
The label has seen many changes over the years, but none compare to Anderson’s reinvention. Known for his conceptual unisex collections (before fluid was even a buzzeword) and his London-based label J.W. Anderson – he joined in 2013, and took a year out to reimagine the brand’s aesthetic. The goal was to figure out how to turn this rather conservative beacon into a modern, cultural brand – tapping into the millennial zeitgeist – while still paying homage to its heritage.
The new identity included a fresh logo-design, teaming up with legendary photographer Steven Meisel for an iconic ad campaign, and a new social media strategy. In 2014 Anderson debuted his first’ men’s collection to widespread acclaim.
The recognizable Puzzle bag – first launched in 2015 – also plays a part in Loewe’s success, becoming an instant “It”-bag worn by the likes of Beyoncé and model Elsa Hosk.
For Spring/Summer 2016 he threw us a curveball, tapping into pop-culture references with manga-print suits and Disney princesses. He would return with the Disney theme in 2019 with his Dumbo capsule collection, to coincide with Tim Burton’s live-action version of the classic movie.
In 2017 Anderson unveiled what would be the first in line of several collaborations with the enigmatic ’70s boutique, Paula’s Ibiza – revisiting his childhood years spent on the White Isle.
Early adopters A$AP Rocky and Pusha T helped propel the label into its current position of cool (cue the bandana patchwork shirt) and A$AP Rocky was cast for the label’s Spring/Summer campaign 2019. The same year the new Casa Loewe concept store opened its doors in London’s New Bond Street, curated by Anderson, fusing art and interior design.
Another example of cross-genre collaboration is the label’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, tapping the Emmy Award-winning actress Jodie Comer from the hit TV series Killing Eve.
Aside from luxury fashion items such as ready-to-wear clothes and leather goods, the brand also produces home and lifestyle products such as towels, journals, wallets and keyrings. There are Loewe stores worldwide, including Tokyo, Milan, Hong Kong and Miami and a store at the Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas.