Loafers have long been a staple of the casual luxury scene, but even a classic requires a tweak here and there. Enter Jonathan Anderson, his eponymous label JW Anderson and their elevated – literally and figuratively – loafer for men.

The original loafer is said to have been invented by a shoemaker in London in the mid 1920s, created for the aristocracy to wear while spending time at their country homes. Designed to be easily slipped on and off as needed throughout the day, comfortable yet sturdy, loafers were for all purposes a shoe that signified pastoral leisure and downtime. This aesthetic has remained true throughout the shoe’s various incarnations, even during the 1960s when Gucci broke new ground by adding a simple metal strap akin to a snaffle bit from a horse bridle across the top and then in the 1980s and ‘90s when they became the shoe of choice for the prep style circuit.

To our current version, if Anderson is known for one thing it’s his gift for natural subversion. Whether it’s through the deconstruction of shape, the clashing of colour codes or the introduction of unexpected fabrications, in the hands of Anderson the familiar becomes uncanny. Thus, the Irish designer’s vision of the loafer looks back to look forward, combining elements of the shoe’s history with contemporary aesthetic. A baroque heel like those worn by men of the French during court gives the familiar silhouette a dandified finish, complete with a flourish of dyed leather while the laced top borrows from the more sport-centric deck version. This mash-up of eras and incarnations of a shoe that tends to carry the baggage of privilege now delivers a conceptually fresh version that still pays homage to the original purpose – pleasure and play.

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MULTICOLOUR LEATHER HEELED LOAFER, JW ANDERSON, SHOP NOW

THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE EIGHTH EDITION OF ICON PRINT MAGAZINE. ORDER YOUR COPY HERE.

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