Speaking ahead of this June’s Milan Fashion Week, Italian-British brand JordanLuca were waiting eagerly to debut their latest capsule SS24. Moving away from their work on just menswear, including their recent collaboration with iconic British sportswear brand Lonsdale, to include a womenswear collection. The duo, composed of Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto, are already happy to bend their focus, erasing gender binaries in their FW23 collection, and aiming to include gender non conforming models in their work.
Founded in 2018, JordanLuca is London focused, the English capital providing a large focus for their work as designers. The hedonism, multiculturalism, and anything goes approach that has come to define their style is an homage to the city’s quintessential fashion underbelly. For the duo, design is a means of recovery and catharsis, in a period of cultural tumult art is seen as a way forwards.
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Hi there, thank you both for taking some time to speak to me. Firstly, congrats on your latest capsule (AW23 at time of writing). It has garnered lots of positive press, how does it feel to have your collection received so positively?
Thanks, the reaction has been amazing and we feel really grateful that people have been able to connect to what we do.
Naturally there was a keen focus on your collaboration with Lonsdale, how did the collab come about and what was the interest there?
I’m obsessed with heritage and the different cultural values we place upon it.
Lonsdale has a rich cultural heritage which started with sportswear and boxing but has become so much more. In fact more than I think they want to accept. Lonsdale is hyper masculine and super fetishised and this was obviously a big part of the attraction to the collaboration. We wanted to fuck with that a bit and play with the idea of what that man is.
In your press release regarding the AW23 collection you reference the doomsday feel of the everyday and name drop Philosopher Slavoj Žižek, are you both quite into your philosophy? How do you cope with the darkness of the present moment?
Once you remove romance from life you realise that we’re all here to die. Philosophy gives life a certain perfume.
We’re not nihilistic but accept ourselves as human beings with all our impulses and desires and our finite time here on earth. We want to believe that the future will be better and brighter but I find this a bit naive and this is why as designers we place so much focus on the now and celebrate ourselves and the people we love.
Personally, there is an advantage to being creative during these dark times because we are able to take the darkness and process it into our visual language.
What is the history of the company, and when did you guys first cross paths? What is your shared ethos?
We’ve been designing together for 10 years now but we’ve been together since 2011.
JordanLuca is a byproduct of our life together, our shared vision and values and the fusion of two cultures. We’re inspired by the people we know and admire and the collections are a response to our life together in London. We’re not nostalgic and believe the best time is always now and we use JordanLuca as a space where questions about who we are can be answered through what we wear and the different realities we can embody through fashion.
Fashion is a culture within itself that can be critiqued for its lofty societal position, and is at times the generator of unhealthy norms regarding bodies and consumption. Do you think it's possible for fashion to edge towards a more political and meaningful future?
As it’s so far ahead of time, Fashion (and the fashion show) is the first broadcast of what the future could be not only in terms of fashion but also in terms of beauty norms, concepts of gender and sexuality.
Brands often act as extension to someone’s identity which means they need to hold the same environmental and political values as that person.
How would you define British fashion, and what in your eyes makes it so iconic?
Visceral, instinctive and more fearless than the other fashion capitals.
You note that your FW23 collection hones in on the element of the bulldog shoulder. Can you discuss this incorporation a bit more in depth, as well as the emphasis on staples?
The name was given to the styles when we realised just how hunched forward the body was when the model was wearing them. The bulldog shoulder projects the body forward and we loved this symbolically as metaphor for our times as we push forward into the unknown.
You also have described labels such as genderless and gender neutral as “reductive,” instead saying that your collection is simply for people. Do you see these labels as somewhat of fads honed in on by designers, or as harmful?
We work with gender fluid and non conforming people all the time in our shows and campaigns and have done since the beginning of JordanLuca.
I find that terms used in the wrong way can quickly turn into buzzwords and be detrimental to marginalised communities.
We don’t need to tick boxes to raise corporate revenue or to try and appeal to a younger demographic.
Could you possibly deconstruct one look from the Milan show, telling us a bit more about the garments worn? A bit of backstory so to speak?
There isn’t one single favourite look but we introduced the bulldog style which featured throughout the show and these are the looks that underpinned the whole collection - the hunched over shoulder physically pushing the body forward became symbolic as we push forward through adversity in a time defined by crisis.
What are you looking forwards to as JordanLuca the coming months?
This Saturday at Milan Fashion Week we will be presenting SS24 which will include our first full exploration of womenswear alongside men’s and we’re very excited to see it come to life.
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