Irish designer JW Anderson named as one of Time’s most influential people for 2024

Co Derry-born Anderson began his career as a visual merchandiser in Brown Thomas

London-based Irish fashion designer JW Anderson has just been named as one of Time magazine’s most influential people of the year.

Since establishing his brand in 2008, the career of the designer who began as a visual merchandiser – arranging and displaying items – for Prada in Brown Thomas in Dublin has been one of steady success, earning him an array of awards and accolades.

He not only creates six collections a year for his menswear and womenswear lines, but also eight for Loewe. As creative director since 2014 of the Spanish luxury house, he has transformed its fortunes and established its international reputation.

Inspired by art and artists and well known for linking art, fashion and craft, he founded the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize in 2016 and was appointed to the board of the V & museum in London in 2019. In February, he was announced as the honorary co-chair of next month’s Met Gala in New York with TikTok chairman Shou Zi Chew. “A mastermind of planting bizarre ideas and making them desirable” was how Vogue once described Anderson’s appeal.


The son of the famous rugby player and coach Willie Anderson and his wife Heather, an English teacher, he was born in Magherafelt in Derry in 1984 and from an early age displayed drive, ambition and creativity. He has said that as a child in the 90s he was always obsessed with fashion and the artistic process.

Over the years, his many awards have included Menswear Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2015 from the British Fashion Council, while last year he was named Fashion Designer of the Year by GQ magazine and won the highly coveted CFDA International Designer of the Year Award in the US.

He has pioneered many fruitful collaborations; early on his collection for Topshop was the most successful ever for the chain, he created a “print wrap” for an Opel car in Dublin in 2013 and has an association with Uniqlo which started seven years ago.

More recently, he hit the headlines dressing Rihanna for the NFL Superbowl in a Loewe vibrant red catsuit and Beyoncé for her Renaissance tour with “hands on” bodysuits both from his autumn winter 2022 collection, the most talked about of all the singer’s outfits. “Everyone loves recognition,” he once said, “and I am humbled by it. I feel I have worked pretty hard to get where I am.”

He thanked Time on his Instagram account “for this incredible honour”.

  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here