The secret is out! We can now confirm that the JW Anderson patchwork knit cardigan worn by recording artist Harry Styles is joining the V&A’s fashion collection.
The cardigan sparked a TikTok trending sensation after Styles wore it to rehearsals on the US broadcaster NBC’s Today show in February this year. During lockdown, fans of the star created their own ingenious versions and shared them on the social media platform using the hashtag #harrystylescardigan. The hashtag has received 40.1 million views to-date and JW Anderson’s Creative Director, Jonathan Anderson, was so overwhelmed by the response to the cardigan, that he released the pattern and tutorial of how to make it online.
Harry Styles’ gender neutral, playful and experimental approach to fashion has played a huge role in developing his distinctive personality as an artist. Often flamboyant, his style choices constantly push boundaries making him one of the most influential style icons of his generation. The response to Styles wearing the cardigan sparked a cultural phenomenon that speaks to the power of creativity and social media in bringing people together in times of extreme adversity, even when we are locked down in our own homes.
The cardigan also reflects Jonathan Anderson’s experimental approach to knitwear within his collections and his championing of the medium of craft. By making the pattern for the cardigan available on his website he encouraged many more people to try their hand at creating a garment for themselves. It’s fantastic to be able to add this design to our collection of fashion and dress representing his approach to design, and documenting this moment in time.
I am so impressed and incredibly humbled by the whole thing. It’s been incredible to see everyone knitting the cardigan on their own and with the pattern we released and to see so many people making it their own. Donating the cardigan to the V&A feels like the right next step to acknowledge everyone’s incredible creativity and craft especially during such a challenging time in historyJonathan Anderson, Founder and Creative Director, JW Anderson.
More to follow on this in 2021!