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How did Loewe become the planet's hottest fashion brand?

 Isabelle Huppert, Jonathan Anderson and Naomi Campbell pose in front of Printemps Haussmann store in Paris after unveiling their Loewe-designed Christmas windows, 2022
Isabelle Huppert, Jonathan Anderson and Naomi Campbell pose in front of Printemps Haussmann store in Paris after unveiling their Loewe-designed Christmas windows, 2022 Copyright CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images
Copyright CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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The Spanish luxury house has been around for decades but has only just become stratospherically popular. Is it down to creative director Jonathan Anderson's input? Euronews Culture investigates.

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LOEWE was founded in 1846, making it LVMH's oldest luxury fashion house, but you’d be forgiven for thinking the superstar brand was new to the scene.

Established in Madrid by a group of Spanish leather craftsmen and Enrique Loewe, a merchant of Hessian origin, they were a favourite of royals and public figures alike.

In 1905, then King Alfonso XIII granted the fashion house a Royal Warrant of Appointment, making Loewe Purveyor of the Royal Household of Spain.

The brand grew in popularity decades later with celebrity fans including Ava Gardner, Ernest Hemingway, Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich.

More recently, Loewe has been under the radar, ignored in favour of ever-popular luxury houses like Chanel, Gucci and Celine, to name but a few.

That’s all changed this year, though, with experts naming it the hottest brand of the year.

Edward Berthelot/Getty
Actress Heart Evangelista wears a Loewe jacket, sunglasses and viral tank top to the brand's PFW show in MarchEdward Berthelot/Getty

Loewe's rise to success

Research undertaken by LDMV Marketing has found that Loewe currently has over 800 million views on TikTok, with the hashtag #loewebag being one of the most popular on the platform with more than 8 million views.

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Influencer twins Humaid Nadban and Mohammed Nadban tote Loewe's ever-popular Puzzle bag at Paris Fashion WeekEdward Berthelot/Getty

That’s an impressive feat for any brand and is backed up with countless fans from all quarters of the fashion industry.

Last month, fashion technology company Lyst named Loewe officially as the hottest brand in the world. In its ranking of the most influential players in the fashion game, the brand went from the number 5 spot in Lyst's Q1 report, released in April, up to the top spot in Q2.

On Lyst’s hottest products of Q2 list, two of Loewe’s fan favourite pieces - its logo tank top and raffia tote bag - ranked at first and fourth, respectively.

Kevin Mazur/Getty
Beyonce performs in a Loewe bodysuit on her Renaissance tourKevin Mazur/Getty

Following in the footsteps of fashion power players including Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton, the Spanish brand opened a new store in exclusive East Hampton, New York, last week, cementing itself firmly in the hearts of the elite.

The shop follows Loewe’s creative director Jonathan Anderson’s Casa Loewe store concept, offering an experience where art, craft and fashion intertwine.

Brett Beyer/Loewe
Loewe's recently opened store in East Hampton, New YorkBrett Beyer/Loewe

Jonathan Anderson's influence on the brand

Loewe’s ability to tap into a wide aspect of the market has been part of the brand’s success, according to fashion expert and founder of LDMV Marketing, Jo Threlfall.

“Alongside the brands clothing, accessory and bag range, Loewe also offers a home range and perfume selections, with the option to obtain sample sizes, giving consumers the opportunity to try the products before committing to a full-size purchase”, she tells Euronews Culture.

Jonathan Anderson, perhaps best known for his eponymous brand JW Anderson and their viral frog clogs, has been at the helm of Loewe since 2013.

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The Northern Irish designer seems to have his finger on the pulse of what’s desirable at all times.

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Queen Letizia of Spain carries a Loewe handbag in MadridEuropa Press Entertainment via Getty

As well as maintaining the royal relationship - Spanish queens Sofía and Letizia often carry Loewe bags - celebrity collaborations have helped make the brand what it is today.

The label has recently signed K-pop sensation Taeyong and South Korean girl group Nmixx as brand ambassadors, a move no doubt intended to win over fans of the hugely popular music genre.

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Rihanna performs at the Super Bowl halftime show in February, dressed in LoeweKevin Mazur/Getty

Anderson has picked other representatives to promote Loewe from all corners of the celebrity world. As well as designing Beyoncé’s spangled bodysuits for her Renaissance tour and dressing Rihanna for her Super Bowl halftime show, he’s casted the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins and The White Lotus star Murray Bartlett in recent adverts.

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Cast members of the smash hit drama Succession have also been seen in the front rows of Loewe shows and, in its recently-unveiled menswear campaign, actor Jamie Dornan and singer-songwriter Omar Apollo wear the latest collection while reading ‘Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka and James Frey’s ‘My Friend Leonard’.

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Succession stars Nicholas Braun and Brian Cox at the Loewe Spring 2024 Menswear Collection Runway Show in ParisSwan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images

Like many of Jonathan Anderson’s choices, the relevance of the novels isn’t obvious but his tenureship at Loewe has constantly raised eyebrows and got people talking.

Anderson's wide ranging approach to Loewe's designs

Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty
A Paris Fashion Week guest wearing Loewe's viral shoes with a red ballon imitation on the heelRaimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty

Euronews Culture spoke to J'Nae Phillips, Insights Editor at consumer agency Canvas8, to learn more about Anderson’s fail proof approach.

“Loewe's ‘pixelated clothing’, cartoon-style high heels and anthurium breastplates are visually impactful and social media friendly”, Philips explains, adding, “this helps elevate brand awareness and permeate the greater collective fashion consciousness. Loewe garments function as real-life meme-worthy content that's captivating audiences online and offline”.

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Influencer Nina Sandbech wearing Loewe's 'egg' shoes in CopenhagenRaimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images

While Loewe is well known for its street style favourite puffed up sunglasses and balloon and broken egg-themed shoe designs, Anderson hasn’t just tapped into the avant garde side of the market.

“At a time when logos are becoming less desirable, Loewe is certainly bucking that trend,” stylist Bella Hignett tells Euronews Culture, adding, “Its accessories are heavily branded and people are clambering to be seen in the brand and to be associated with its luxury cool image”.

If you’ve been on social media over the last few months, you can’t have missed countless celebrities and influencers sporting the brand’s tank tops. Coming in neutral colours, it’ll set you back upwards of €342 but is seen as the perfect 'stealth wealth' piece

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Kylie Jenner wears the viral Loewe tank top and coordinating underwearMEGA/Getty

With his basic pieces sitting comfortably next to unconventional yet practical bags like the Puzzle as well as even more unusual designs, Anderson has taken Loewe from ‘just another brand’ to the most lusted after on the planet.

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“Anderson isn't afraid to take risks. He’s quoted as saying that you can’t underestimate the customer”, Hignett adds. “I think his quirkiness has made Loewe a huge success and so desirable”.

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