UNIQLO's Tomas Maier Collection Arrives In 2 Months
—See The Lookbook Now

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It's a collection for fans made by a fan. Uniqlo's announcement that it was collaborating with Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier has caused a stir of excitement among the quiet but expansive base of customers who like casual but stylish clothing that may not turn heads like the latest Paris runway confection, but express sophisticated style in subtler ways. Most of these individuals are already Uniqlo customers, drawn in by their well priced basic cashmeres in other prosaic items as well as the erstwhile +J collection that the designer Jil Sander designed between luxury gigs and, more recently, the Lemaire collaboration that morphed into a permanent, premium Uniqlo U "LifeWear" line. It turns out that Maier himself is a Uniqlo fan as well, so who better than he to merge the style of his own signature label with the mind-boggling production capabilities of the Japanese mega-chain. Maier and Uniqlo fans will be waiting and ready when the Tomas Maier x Uniqlo collection arrives online on the evening of May 17th, and in stores on the 18th.
While he is best known for his extravagant Bottega Veneta designs, the collaboration will be done under Maier's own label. While it has been a niche brand, it actually predates his Bottega days, and is now being more heavily supported as a result of the designer's most recent contract renewal with the owners of his day job. This collaboration appears to be part of the program to raise Maier's own profile, and it expresses the casual, beachy look of his brand. The color palette includes recognizable hues from earthy neutrals as a base with shots of vibrant reds, oranges and purples. The military fatigues he has interpreted so many times make an appearance in versions of a multi pocketed jacket for men and women, meant to top swimwear for both. Maier's palm tree insignia is incorporated into prints and discreetly embroidered at the hem of tees and polo shirts, while other military details abound on shorts, and women's skirts. As with other designer collaborations from the chain, the styles will appear familiar to those who have followed Maier's label, but they will come in at Uniqlo prices, so be prepared for multiple purchases to stock up. It will be perfectly timed to provide a smart summer brach wardrobe, giving us two solid months to save up. See the collection in action below with the entire lookbook below, or click HERE to see each item in the complete collection (with prices) online to make your early picks. 

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Uniqlo Taps Tomas Maier For Its Next Capsule Collaboration

There as once a moment when it seemed like designer collaborations were everywhere in every chain you saw in the mail. The craze may have cooled, but it hasn't disappeared completely, and for certain chains, it has been an an going tool for creating buzz and generating traffic. One of those chains is Uniqlo, and today the Japanese apparel giant announced that it was joining forces with Bottega Veneta designer Tomas Maier for a summer capsule collection under his own label. Whether or not this will be a one-off event or the beginning of a series of product drops remains to be seen. One of Uniqlo's current LifeWear collaborators, J.W.Anderson is about to deliver his second (and last?) collection for the chain, though a floor-up season for these projects are usually only announced after the initial collection has been accepted by customers. French model-turned-designer Inès de la Fressange seems to have an ongoing arrangement with Uniqlo, while Christophe Lemaire became the permanent designer of a new sub-brand, Uniqlo U, after two seasons of his collaboration. We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves, or Mr. Maier. All we know so far is that the collection will be arriving sometime this summer, and it will reflect the sensibilities of Maier's own signature collection. Unlike the opulent luxury items he creates for Bottega Veneta, Maier's own label features more casual, relaxed sportswear in luxury materials. Call them luxe basics. Now he will be creating affordable versions of his collection for a chain most known for well priced, simple basics in quality materials. This one will be yet another collaboration to save up for. Though it's too early for preview images, we are looking forward to some irresistible clothes and accessories for both men and women to come out of this team up.


Trader Joe's Next NYC Store Will Come With 2-Buck Chuck

At this point, a new Trader Joe's is not as unique an event as it used to be, unless it is but a couple of blocks away, as the upcoming Columbus Avenue unit is from Shophound HQ. As we regularly pass breathlessly by the site to gauge progress, we noticed through the recently uncovered front windows that they are starting to install fixtures and registers to the store, suggesting that an opening may be only weeks away. We don't have a firm date yet, but the store at the corner of 93rd Street is listed as 'opening soon' on TJ's website, along with the more unusual news that it will include not just beer but also wine and spirits in its assortment. This will be only the second Trader Joe's liquor store in New York City where it has been notoriously difficult for the chain to navigate the licensing requirements to sell alcohol. Interestingly it will be just down the street from the only Whole Foods around that has a separate liquor store. This may signal fewer obstacles in the future for both chains in adding alcohol to their stores as the Trader Joe's slated for later this year on Spring Street in SoHo is also listed as selling wines and spirits. Perhaps the stores are being more aggressive in achieving their full presentations because, though it's taking a while, and it's going to be all the way in Brooklyn, there's one store on the way that will give both chains a run for their money: Wegmans. Get ready for a grocery way where all New Yorkers might turn out to be the winners.


The Nordstrom Men's Store Is Now Hiring For An April Opening

While the immense Mothership across Broadway is at least a year away from opening, the Nordstrom Men's store near Columbus Circle is now prominently posting 'Help Wanted' notices —right in its windows. While the notices are a bit tongue-in-cheek —we don't think that there is actually a position called 'sock svengali' at Nordstrom— their presence indicates that the retailer has set a firm opening date for what is the most significant men's store to to open in New York City since Bergdorf Goodman took advantage of an exceptionally good real estate deal to open its separate mens store in 1990. New York Magazine published a simple floor plan of the store in its current issue with a few highlighted items that don't seem earth shattering, but suggest that Nordstrom is looking to stock up on some cultish, New York-y items like Le Labo beard oil and and Mykita sunglasses which are far removed from the classic but accessible fare that made Nordstrom into a Menswear powerhouse. Little other early info has been released, but it's Nordstrom, so we can safely expect an extensive Mens tailored clothing presentation and an enormous shoe shoe department built to compete in a city now known for its enormous shoe departments. Add competitively pleasing service to that mix, and you should have the menswear staffs of Barneys, Bergdorf's, and Saks on their toes and on notice to see how this new interloper will stand up to the hometown faves. Its only a few months away now, so start the countdown.


The Next Uniqlo U Collection Arrives Online Tomorrow & In Stores Friday

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It is a bit of a challenge keeping up with all of Uniqlo's rolling collaboration collections, but the first of the season arrives this week when the next UNIQLO U collection designed by Christophe Lemaire and his exclusive team becomes available. As has been the mega-chain's custom, the collection will be purchasable online tomorrow evening the 25th at 9 PM Eastern Standard time. It will appear in selected stores the next morning for in-person shopping. As usual, the store distribution will be limited, but all three of New York's Flagships, Fifth Avenue, SoHo and 34th Street, will have it along with Chicago's Michigan Avenue store, L.A.'s Beverly Center and San Francisco's Union Square.
And what will select shoppers find in their curated locations? More of what we have come to expect from the chain's "deluxe" label, which, in this case is basics with an advanced Euro-style edge, so the khakis are now full and billowing instead the slim and tapered silhouette that has fully captured the mainstream aesthetic. T-Shirts in heavier-gauge cotton are now also full and boxy in more directional colors, and if the new, edgier silhouettes are too much to carry off all at once there are enough appealing outerwear pieces and clean-lined separates to ease into the new proportions one piece at a time, at a much more affordable price than what comes of Europe's runways. Tees start at $9.90, with special outerwear pieces topping out at $99.90. Typically, some things sell out fast, and others linger, but sometimes it's hard to figure out which will be which, so we usually recommend jumping on the the things that make the strongest impression quickly. See the lookbook HERE, and make your choices accordingly.


Steven Alan Just Announced A Surprise Sample Sale At Industry City Starting Tomorrow

It pays to keep an eye out for special events. New York fave retailer/designer Steven Alan just email blasted the news that he will be holding a Sample Sale at Industry City, in Sunset Park. If that part of Brooklyn seems far away from the Lower Manhattan locations where Alan's sales are usually held, be comforted that it's only a swift trip on the D, R or N trains away. The sale will run from Friday afternoon through Sunday. Get ready for reductions of up to 75% off.

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Face Values Evolves Beyond On The Upper West Side

It seems that there is no stopping the proliferation of big box stores throughout the city, and yet another permutation of the Bed Bath & Beyond mega-chain has arrived on the Upper West Side. What was once a Food Emporium on Broadway and 90th Street has just re-opened its doors as Face Values & Beyond, a combination of the Harmon Face Values cosmetics and beauty supply chain on the street level with a condensed version of the mother ship downstairs where the deli counter used to be. So far, no sign of Buy Buy Baby or Cost Plus World Market has materialized, but the new store shows how the conglomerated chains are being creatively tweaked and combined to fit various locations as they become available. One would not have thought that the space, empty for many months, would have been considered for a full Bed Bath & Beyond, and so it wasn't, but the Face Values concept should be a hit in the neighborhood, especially with the recent loss of a couple of nearby Ricky's. The lower level, it turns out was just enough space to fill with a "best of" version of the main chain including housewares, bed & bath and just a bit of the basics that the company is known for, situated equidistant from full line stores at Lincoln Square or 125th Street. The best thing here, as at all of the company's outlets, is the coupon game. It may be the 20% Off coupons that fuel this retail behemoth's continued expansion, but as convenient as it now is, one should never go there without at least one or two discounts in hand. Don't have them? They are easy to get, and can be ordered by mail, email, text message or, even better, all three. There are even occasional, limited offers to join as a member (for a small fee) to get a discount on all purchases at all times. Snap these up if you see them. They work across all four of the nameplates, and you will have a new appreciation for the big box stores coming to your neighborhood.


UNIQLO x JW Anderson Arrives Next Week With Christophe Lemaire's Next UNIQLO U Delivery On Its Heels

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It's a good few weeks coming up for Uniqlo fans as more of the Japanese mega-chain's renowned collaborations will be hitting the sales floor. The long running Ines de la Fressange collaboration arrived in stores last month including her first pieces for men, but next week, fans will be lining up for one of the most anticipated team-ups of the season with editorial darling JW Anderson (pictured above). While designer Jonathan Anderson should have his hands full designing for both his own signature label as well as Spanish luxury brand Loewe, he is no stranger to the high/low collaboration with a couple of Topshop capsules under his belt already. The Uniqlo line takes things to a new level, including a full menswear assortment and a much larger production run to satisfy the chain's vast store count. Look for updated twists on classic British heritage looks like bold tartans, technicolor fair isles and classic trench coats in up-to-the minute proportions. Prices will fall in a wallet-friendly zone ranging from $14.90 to 149.90 for outerwear pieces, and while Anderson is known for some avant-garde runway statements, the capsule collection shows that he equally adept at translating his vision to more accessible looks without losing his special touch. he collection will be available online late Thursday evening on September 21st and in the chain's Flagship stores on the 22nd. That store lineup includes the three New York flagships on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street and Broadway in Soho along with Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Newbury Street in Boston, Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Tyson's Corner in Northern Virginia, Beverly Center in LA, Union Square in San Francisco and a soon to open store in Santa Anita California. See a preview of each item in the collection with prices HERE.

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Thats not all. Faithful customers will be relieved to know that the Fall delivery of the UNIQLO U collection designed by Christophe Lemaire (pictured above and below) will become available only a couple of weeks after the Anderson collection hits. Spun off from the Uniqlo x Lemaire a few seasons ago, the line features more of the chain's advanced basics featuring its most technologically developed materials and designs from its own dedicated design studio in Paris. This season, look for more of the line's expertly engineered knitwear, updated down outerwear, Blocktech trenches and perfectly proportioned tees. Full, billowing trousers will be available for both men and women along with accessories all in an earthy color range. Online availability will start at 9 PM ET on October  5th with select styles hitting all stores the next day, and the complete collection only at Flagship stores. Click HERE for a preview of the line, and then set your alarms, because we all know the best pieces go fast.

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ERDEM Is H&M's Big Collaboration This Fall

It's about that time of year when we discover the identity of the designer that H&M has anointed for a pre-Holiday Season publicity blitz, and this time it's Turkish-British-Canadian phenom Erdem Moralioglu (pictured below) whose label ERDEM will get the spotlight with a collaboration collection that will include his first designs for men. As an added bonus, Australian director Baz Luhrmann will be collaborating on the advertising and promotional materials including the evocative announcement video above.
Rather than chasing Instagram glitz or avant garde cachet as it has with the collaboration other years, H&M has chosen to go in a more elegant direction this November. Moralioglu has built a faithful customer base with classical silhouettes married to intricately printed and textured fabrics, often including exuberant floral prints that have succeeded in attracting a broad range of fans with a healthy dose of celebrity red-carpet support. He has quietly made his London-based company a burgeoning powerhouse that claims prized space in stores ranging from mainstream luxury players like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus to highly curated outlets like Dover Street Market. His brand is well positioned to maximize the exposure that the H&M collaboration can bring, though it will be interesting to see how he translates his label's hyper feminine fashion image to menswear. Of what we can expect from the collaboration, Erdem says, “The collection reinterprets some of the codes that have defined my work over the past decade. It’s also inspired by much of my youth, from the English films, 90s TV shows and music videos I grew up watching to memories of the style that defined members of my family. Taking from these inspirations, I imagined a group of characters and friends off to the English countryside for the weekend. There’s a real play in the collection between something decidedly dressed-up and equally effortless”. He also cites the cult-favorite Pet Shop Boys video for the song "Being Boring" directed  by Bruce Weber as an inspiration. We have a few months before the first looks for the collection are revealed, but this one is shaping up to be an intriguing team-up for H&M.

L to R: H&M creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson, Erdem Moralioglu, Baz Luhrmann. Photo courtesy of H&M


J.W. Anderson Is Uniqlo's Next Designer Collaboration

Image Courtesy of UNIQLO

If Japan's largest retailer seems to be at a bit of an impasse on how to expand it's U.S. business, it remains committed to its strategy of bridging the exclusive designer world with the mass market. The announcement of this fall's designer collaboration at Uniqlo should please fashion fans, as J.W.Anderson's Jonathan Anderson (pictured at right) will be creating a special capsule collection for men and women exclusively for the chain. As designer for both his own label as well as the Spanish luxury leather goods label Loewe, Anderson has caught the attention of fashion insiders even if his public profile has yet to rise to superstar status. That doesn't matter as much to the chain, as it's collaboration with lesser known label Lemaire sold out anyway and led to an ongoing collection with Christophe Lemaire for the Uniqlo U label.
“When I think of Uniqlo, I think of things 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,” said Anderson in a statement regarding the upcoming collection. “Working with Uniqlo is probably the most incredible template of democracy in fashion, and it’s nice that my design can be accessible to anyone, on all different levels.”
As of yet, we don't yet know if the exclusive line will extend beyond the fall season (Lemaire's initial collaboration spanned two seasons), but for now we can look forward to a potentially intriguing line from a designer whose aesthetic can range from classic to avant-garde, often in the same collection.