Collaboration remains the name of the game for Uniqlo as it launches its new autumn-winter collection in Bangkok
JAPAN’S largest mainstream retailer Uniqlo is back for another season, this time collaborating with renowned British fashion brand JW Anderson for a range of outfits and accessories that combine the label’s British heritage with the everyday comfort that Uniqlo pursues through its LifeWear concept.
The new line features British classics that mix and match the signature bold and graphic design aesthetics for which Anderson is known. The result is a collection that offers the best of British styling that is at once traditional and modern while providing daily lifestyle options for men and women of all ages. This line embodies the two brands’ shared vision of offering elegance, simplicity, timeless comfort and individuality.
The brand’s owner and creative designer Jonathan Anderson says collaborations are incredibly important in design.
“When I think of Uniqlo, I think of clothes that are perfectly made, that people have spent a lot of time considering. It’s a difficult job, and I think Uniqlo does it very well. Working with Uniqlo is probably the most incredible template of democracy in fashion, and it’s nice that my designs can be accessible to anyone, on all different levels.”
For the new collection, the Japanese brand has combined the energy, creativity and traditional touches of JW Anderson with Uniqlo’s fit, fabrics, and functionality. As part of the brand’s quest to craft wardrobe essentials, the line includes practical duffel and trenchcoats for both men and women as well as some quilted pieces.
For the last seven years, Uniqlo has worked with French supermodel and designer Ines de la Fressange and this collaboration continues, expanding to include a long-anticipated men’s line and showcasing the urban essentials of Parisian chic. The collection includes classic stand-up collar coats, tweed jackets and cashmere knits, all of which work perfectly in all sorts of daily situations.
The women's line this season is a dynamically different celebration of the enduring elegance of the black and white underpinning French chic. New to the range are sports knits in vintage styles and classic Nordic sweaters. The line also offers items in new cuts, including military style mod coats, duffel coats, and fleece blousons.
Another ongoing collaboration is with Disney and the autumn-winter Magic For All collection now includes a special world travel line. Uniqlo invited 100 of Disney’s top creative mind to re-imagine Mickey Mouse for its “Mickey 100” project and the artists responded en masse, creating T-shirts and other accessories that inspire.
Mickey Travels highlights a suitcase-toting mouse’s adventures in New York, Paris, London, Shanghai, Tokyo, and other destinations around the world. Classic 1940s art from Disney graces an array of T-shirts, sweatshirts, bomber jackets, and other items of clothing, as well as tote bags, pouches, and other accessories.
More seasonal highlights include the Uniqlo U look, which represents the future of LifeWear through the talents of Christophe Lemaire and his team of elite designers and pattern makers at the Uniqlo Paris R&D Centre, which was established in 2016. The centre draws on the proud fashion traditions of Paris, while leveraging new fabrics and leading-edge technologies in a relentless drive to open new vistas for fashion by revolutionising clothing basics.
The Everyday Essentials series features denim and knits harnessing innovations that ensure the casual clothes meet contemporary needs. Last year the brand also established the Jean Innovation Centre in Los Angeles to house jeans specialists and a full line of denim is now emerging as part of the winter collection.
Also in 2016, the company launched a joint venture called the Innovation Factory with Shima Seiki Manufacturing, a knitting machine production technology leader from Japan, to develop and manufacture knits. The latest collection includes seamless 3D U-Knits.
Cashmere, merino, and lambs wool items, both as inner- and outer-wear, are once again part of the “Heattech” collection designed through a partnership with Toray Industries, Inc, one of Japan's top fibres and textiles manufacturers. It comprises four distinct yarns to optimise comfort by absorbing the body's moisture and converting it to heat that is trapped within the air pockets of fibres, offering different levels of winter warmth to keep people comfortable anywhere around the world.
The “Ultra Light Down” jackets, which combine warmth and lightness, feature a fabric made of a durable and light ultrafine fibre that is treated to eliminate down packs, while preventing feathers from poking through.
And the “AIRism” line is also back on the shelves. Designed for the Thai market, it is the fruit of a joint project with Toray and Asahi Kasei, a Japanese manufacturer of fibres and textiles, AIRism is functional innerwear that keeps people incredibly dry and comfortable in any kind of weather. Employing a specially engineered fibre to breathe and wick away-trapped moisture, AIRism accommodates the specific requirements of men, women, children, and babies to ensure comfort for all.