London Calling: JordanLuca is Next in Our 10 Menswear Designers to Meet
On March 23, Boris Johnson put the UK into a lockdown unlike anything we had ever experienced, in order to protect the country from a health pandemic the majority of us had never witnessed before. A mere two months earlier we’d barged through bustling crowds at London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM), our knees brushing up against each other as we sat tightly packed into narrow rows within busy venues dotted across the capital. Totally unaware of the storm brewing in the distance. This was to be the last LFWM as we knew it. As the global fashion schedule came to a standstill in the face of Covid-19, the British Fashion Council took the opportunity to rethink the seasonal calendar entirely. Moving forward, London Fashion Week would become one gender-neutral platform, and its first iteration would be solely digital, held this past June.
Many London designers – not long out of university and entirely independent – didn’t have access to a studio, never mind physical resources, during lockdown. Instead, each faced the task of steering the codes that have shaped their brand thus far into uncharted waters, a URL unknown. Some crafted virtual-reality exhibitions and made capsule collections from deadstock, others decided not to show at all. So we spoke to the talent behind 10 of the city’s most promising brands to find out how they approached a season no one could have imagined.
A dancer, scientist, hacker and a poet all walk into a bar. Well, not a bar, but a JordanLuca film. Designers Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto teased their SS21 collection with a hazy, Daniel Sannwald-directed visual during London Fashion Week Digital. “We were planning a runway show in London and then we were going to shoot the campaign in Milan and Paris, but when lockdown was announced we had to rethink our creative team,” say the duo. “We were lucky in that we ordered our fabrics early, so didn’t actually stop working, but I think, right at the beginning, we went into shock like everyone else – and then into a Netflix coma for three weeks. But after some time to stop and breathe, we both realised how refreshing it was not to be bound to punishing deadlines.”
With Marchetto having worked under Vivienne Westwood for years, and Bowen trained as a milliner by none other than Stephen Jones, the pair have been able to craft a distinct visual aesthetic since starting their brand in 2017. Collaging a taste for London streetwear with a strong, Italian tailoring sensibility, JordanLuca is creating the sort of clothes that boys who are into their clobber are desperate to splash their cash on.
How have you found creating during lockdown?
“Really refreshing. Limitation is a creative aphrodisiac and necessity is the mother of invention, so lockdown gave us a perfect opportunity to work with what we have, to rethink our processes and to explore the full spectrum of sustainability.”
What did a day in lockdown look like for you?
“We made sure we were up at 8am every day to try to create some structure, and we had regular fittings throughout lockdown on Zoom with our pattern cutters. We came into the studio a few hours a week and worked on our e-commerce launch and implemented changes with our procurement and production set-ups.”
What was your go-to lockdown look? Did you dress up or down?