How JW Anderson’s Internet-Breaking “Harry Styles Cardigan” Became an NFT

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via Instagram/@jw_anderson

A video representation of the viral design is being auctioned to raise funds for LGBTQ+ charity AKT. “It would be an incredible chapter in the story of the cardigan,” Anderson tells AnOther

It was the most talked-about cardigan of the year – perhaps even the decade. The colourful, patchworked JW Anderson design that Harry Styles wore during his rehearsal for The Today Show back in February sparked a TikTok trend that came to be known as the #HarryStylesCardigan challenge. The trend saw thousands of people crochet replicas of the piece – which retails at £1,250 in stores – and share their creations on the platform. To date, the hashtag has racked up over 40 million views.

Moved by these TikTokers’ crafty ingenuity, Anderson released a pattern for the cardigan a few months later, along with a YouTube tutorial revealing how to make it at home. “I am so impressed and incredibly humbled by this trend and everyone knitting the cardigan,” Anderson said at the time. “I really wanted to show our appreciation so we are sharing the pattern with everyone. Keep it up!”

Since then, the cardigan’s cultural status has been firmly cemented, having recently found a home at the V&A’s permanent collection. The historic London museum stated that the design, and the digital phenomenon it galvanised, “speaks to the power of creativity and social media in bringing people together in times of extreme adversity.” 

Coming full circle to the digital world, Anderson and digital auctioneer Xydrobe have just turned the cardigan into an NFT, which will see proceeds go to LGBTQ+ charity, AKT. Xydrobe’s in-house team of VFX artists spent over 300 hours painstakingly replicating every thread of yarn, colour, and quirk which makes up the piece to create the NFT, which is the first of its kind to be auctioned as a hyper-realistic 3D digital copy of an existing fashion item.

AKT is a charity that has been close to Anderson for some years now. The UK-based organisation supports queer young people who are experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. “As a gay man I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing, accepting and supportive family,” Anderson exclusively tells AnOther. “I know that so many LGBTQIA+ youth are not as fortunate as me and the work AKT does to support those youth, to keep them safe and healthy and in housing, is so important.”

“We’ve been working with AKT and supporting them for a few years now and I hope this auction does well for them,” Anderson continues. “It would be an incredible chapter in the story of the cardigan.”

Auction goes live on 12 December 2021, sign up at

Music for the video: Lauren Doss.