Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo has announced a designer collaboration that, quite frankly, we would camp outside the store for if it meant securing a piece or two.
Teeing up with undoubtedly one of the most influential and talented contemporary designers Jonathan Anderson, of the eponymous fashion brand JW Anderson, Uniqlo will be launching the new Fall 17 collection worldwide in stores and online. Australia – you can look forward to shopping this range in Spring 2017. The collection will cater for both men and women and "will bring together the British heritage of JW Anderson and the everyday comfort and perfection Uniqlo pursues".
While further details, and a first look of the collaboration, are still tightly under wraps, I was lucky enough to travel to New York with Uniqlo to attend the Fall/Winter2017 launch. There, I got a sneak peek at the LifeWear capsule collection, Uniqlo’s main line, as well as Uniqlo U and Ines De La Fressange.
What I can reveal is that Uniqlo fans can look forward to a more directional and experimental collection from Uniqlo U, which global creative director Shu Hang describes as "the future of LifeWear". Uniqlo U is an internal collection that experiments with the utilitarian foundations of Uniqlo. The collection employs the use of advanced technologies and materials, and plays with proportion and form. Hang explains that the emphasis of the Fall 17 range is on shape and silhouette, which is particularly evident through some of my favourite pieces in the collection. A daring pair of wide leg corduroy trousers and an oversized relaxed drape trench are ones to look out for.
Ines De La Fressange, French model and muse, has been working with Uniqlo on special seasonal collaborations since 2014. For those who follow her range closely, there are exciting things to come. (Gents, particularly for you!) For the first time, the collection has an offering for both men and woman and the pieces are a playful combination of colour, print and texture. (Who knew that a Polkadot blouse layered under Aztec printed knits works so beautifully? Or that an orange shearling bomber jacket could be so covetable?)
For a brand that seems so advanced and ahead of the pack in regards to its fabrications, technologies and marketing strategies, Uniqlo still believe there is more to be done, President of Global Creative John Jay made a surprising confession to me that "the brand has barely scratched the surface" and "they are only just getting started" when I asked him where to from here. He referenced the late Tupac Shakur - saying Uniqlo has to "evolve or disappear" and be "focused on making simple better all the time". With the new Fall17 Collection on the horizon, not to mention the JW Anderson Collaboration in the wings, it seems as though Uniqlo is doing exactly that.