At the British Fashion Awards in December, 31-year-old designer Jonathan Anderson accomplished an unprecedented feat when he took home the award for womenswear designer of the year as well as menswear designer of the year, both for his label, J.W. Anderson.
The provocative young talent, who also serves as creative director of Loewe, a Spanish luxury brand owned by LVMH, is now going for another first: He plans to live-stream his J.W. Anderson show at London’s upcoming men’s fashion week on Grindr, a social-networking app known best—and quite notoriously—as a place where gay men go to find hook-ups.
Anderson, who is known for designing eccentric shapes and ignoring distinctions between menswear and womenswear, explained the brand’s alignment with the app to the New York Times, which first reported the news. “I think fashion is a sexy platform as well, ultimately,” Anderson told the Times. “We’re all humans, so we all have to be somewhat sexually attractive to someone. That’s the name of the game, with clothing.”
Grindr will be the only place to watch the live-stream this Sunday (Jan. 10), though the show won’t appear in the app itself. Users will get a link and a code to access the stream, which they can then watch on their phone or tablet.
It’s a first for Grindr, too. The app, which launched in 2009, hasn’t actively involved itself in fashion before, though there were signs it might. Just over a month ago, Grindr caught the fashion industry’s attention when it hired PR Consulting (paywall), a respected fashion PR firm that represents clients such as Christian Dior, Rick Owens, and—probably not coincidentally—J.W. Anderson.
Its fashion connections don’t end there. The app’s founder, Joel Simkhai, is the older brother of Jonathan Simkhai, who has a successful womenswear label in New York and was recently one of the designers to win the prestigious CFDA/Vogue fashion fund award.
Landis Smithers, Grindr’s recently hired VP of marketing, told the Times that fashion is something “a certain segment” of Grindr’s one million active users has an interest in. He will likely look to broaden the app’s purview beyond the lascivious reputation it’s developed, which could possibly involve projects in music or nightlife.
For Anderson, who has shown a joy in pushing boundaries, that reputation is probably part of the draw. With Burberry turning to Snapchat and plenty of others are looking to Instagram, there may be no better mobile outlet for J.W. Anderson than Grindr.