JW ANDERSON 2-04

23 July 2020

Earlier this month, fashion designer JW Anderson released a downloadable crochet pattern to allow fans to create their own version of the brand’s GBP 1,250 color-block patchwork cardigan. The UK-based fashion designer released the pattern for free after TikTok users began recreating the garment when singer Harry Styles wore it during a rehearsal in February 2020. Since then, the hashtag #HarryStylesCardigan has garnered over 7.5 million views on TikTok. When announcing the launch, Anderson commented: ‘I am so impressed and incredibly humbled by this trend and everyone knitting the cardigan. I really wanted to show our appreciation so we are sharing the pattern with everyone. Keep it up!’ 

Even if you don’t work in the fashion industry there’s much to learn from this innovation: 

First up, the power of a creative community. The #HarryStylesCardigan was created by TikTok users and grew organically, with users sharing how-to videos, sketches, techniques and more – unsurprising given that, in early March, 21% of Gen Zers reported spending ‘significantly more’ time on hobbies and pastimes. Some brands are tapping into online creativity and using it to inspire collections and product launches – fashion brand Amaro tapped creative Animal Crossing players to develop new garments while Rook Perfumes turned the perfume-buying experience into a ‘visual challenge’. When considering your next engagement strategy, think about how it can become an opportunity to let consumers into your brand, to allow them to take a peek behind the scenes...even come up with your next great idea!

The second lesson? The continued value of generosity. JW Anderson’s cardigan is unaffordable for most young consumers, but they still want to experience the brand. Giving them the tools to do that now could pay (cash!) dividends in the future. But this isn’t just for luxury brands! During a period of uncertainty and economic downturn, many consumers will appreciate generous brands that lend a helping hand, offer tools and services for free, and much more. How can you innovate around a generosity first mindset? As JW Anderson observed: ‘You never really own a design anyway. You have to let go of it.” 

Stay healthy,

The TrendWatching content team