As predicted, eager shoppers were lined up early this morning outside the city's Uniqlo branches to get first pick of the highly anticipated Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration line. Whoever they were, they succeeded in denuding the store's shelves and racks of much of the collection.
Because The Shophound had things to do in the early AM (like sleeping) we decided to check things out a few hours later in the early afternoon. We started at one of the only stores in America to have the complete collection, the 34th Street flagship (pictured above and below) where we found not much left for men or women. The only category that seemed to have any breadth of product left was outerwear, but by the time we got to the store. store staff was scrambling to fill in the empty shelves and racks with other merchandise. Some of the sweatpants and cotton chinos were also available, but the standout knitwear was nowhere to be seen, and the disarray caused by ravenous shoppers was only beginning to be tidied up.
Then it was on to the other store slated to carry the full selection, the Fifth Avenue flagship, where we found more stuff, but still some chaos. Customers were no longer waiting outside, but were still lined up around the showcase shop at the top of the escalators that housed the new collection (pictured below). Inside, racks were packed with more outerwear, and some more of the basic separates, Again, much of the knitwear, particularly the cashmeres, were sold out, but the women's sweaters with the concentric square patterns were still available as well as some of the merino styles. As at 34th Street, however, most of the other styles were equally ransacked with maybe one or two odd pieces lingering. Racks set outside the glass enclosed shop featuring the line were also still swarming with shoppers.
So clearly, the line can be called a hit. Don't bother trying to shop online. Most of it is already sold out. The good news is that everyone who missed out will now be able to better prepare for the next season's offerings, as the line has been promised to go for at least a few more seasons. Uniqlo's next collaboration set for launch is the Carine Roitfeld capsule collection, set launch at the end of this month and already getting rave reviews from editors who previewed to this week in Paris. Again, distribution will be limited to only four stores in the U.S. including the Beverly Center unit in Los Angeles, SoHo, Fifth Avenue and select items only at the 34th Street Store. Roitfeld fangirls should be warned. Uniqlo looks like it is on a roll this season.
Adam Lippes x Target, Uniqlo And Lemaire & Gap x GQ's Best New Menswear Designers In America All Hit Stores This Week
In a particularly bountiful season for designer collaborations, this is a big week for a good portion of this fall's most anticipated collections. Adam Lippes for Target, Gap x GQ's Best New Menswear Designers in America 2015 (pictured above) and Uniqlo and Lemaire all arrive on store racks this week. Let's review them below so you can prepare yourselves for a potential stampede to the mall.
First up is Adam Lippes's plaid infused line for Target which dropped yesterday morning in stores and online. Oddly, it has not caused the kind of excitement that some of the popular chain's other collabs have. Perhaps it is because it is only a component of Target's larger tartan-promotion for the fall season, or maybe it is just because the chain hasn't really invested in the same level of advertising for it as they have for other past collaborations —seen any TV ads?. Regardless, it looks great in photos and a few pieces appear to have already sold out online. The collection includes both men's and women's apparel including plus sizes as well as accessories and items for the home and even pets. It has a luxe, casual feeling, and it looks like a sleeper, so don't put off an in-store visit.
Over the past four years, Gap x GQ's Best New Menswear Designers in America has become one of the most highly anticipated collaborations of the year thanks to some stylish, fast-shopping men who cleared the racks of last year's crop in record time. It officially drops tomorrow, but if you text "GQ" to 36888 to sign up, then you can shop online starting right now. You will want the head start. This year's group of official up-and-comers- includes NSF, The Hill-Side, David Hart and STAMPD, each one filling its own separate niche in the range of men's fashion. Some potential fast sellers (pictured above) include NSF's washed leather hoodie with sherpa lining for $450, STAMPD's black leather backpack with a white stripe for $195, master tailor David Hast's tweed sport coat and trousers for $150 and $98 respectively, and the Hill-Side's quilted camo-print bomber for $130. There are tons of great items to be had from each designer, and online shopping is recommended for the best selection. We don't have an official list of NYC stores, but typically, the Gap locations with the best selections are the Fifth Avenue flagship, which usually devotes the little side-store to the collaboration, the Flatiron location on lower Fifth Avenue, The Herald Square and Times Square stores and the Upper West Side location near Lincoln Square. As always, shop early for this one.
Finally, Uniqlo and Lemaire (above) will be released online and in stores this Friday October 2nd. This luxurious looking collaboration for men and women has been generating an enormous amount of online anticipation, particularly for those who have been waiting for a sophisticated follow up to the chain's much loved +J collection. The knitwear pieces for men and women look especially enticing, but the stylish basics throughout the line all look like winners. While a fraction of the collection will be available in every Uniqlo store, only a very select group of stores worldwide will have the complete line in stock including the Fifth Avenue Flagship and West 34th Street locations exclusively in the entire United States. Chicago shoppers will also have the complete line at their upcoming store on Michigan Avenue, but not until it opens later this month. As far as we know, those stores will have regular hours on Friday, but look for the lines outside the doors that we used to see on the +J launch days of years past when the SoHo Uniqlo was the only one in America.
Of course, there are still big collaborations coming from Carine Roitfeld and Uniqlo and, probably the 800 pound gorilla of the season, H&M x Balmain coming in late October and mid-November, so shoppers may want to pace themselves, but the season is getting off to a strong start right now. Plan carefully.
See The UNIQLO x Carine Roitfeld Campaign by Steven Meisel Including U.S. Prices
We have been focusing so much of our attention on the upcoming Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration that we almost forgot about the other big team-up the Japanese mega-chain is debuting this Fall —the one with superstylist and editor, Carine Roitfeld. The line's ad campaign images leaked late last week on the blogs, DesignScene and Fashion Gone Rogue, and feature model Lexi Boling photographed by Steven Meisel and styled by La Roitfeld herself reflecting her own personal style right down to the tousled side parted hair and signature smoky eyes. Prices for the items pictured range from $49.90 for a faux leather shirt to $199.90 for a wool Chester coat. As you can see above and after the jump in the five images that have surfaced, Roitfeld's sleek, urbane and body conscious style has been translated intact. You can almost smell a faint race of cigarette smoke just by looking at them. The line officially drops on October 29th, though an exact store listing is not yet available (the line's dedicated web page is not yet activated). We'll keep an eye out for more details for all those wannabe louche Parisiennes out there who are no doubt waiting with mascara wands at the ready.
All images by Steven Meisel for Uniqlo
Apple's new product announcement event is still going on as we type this, but the biggest fashion news for the tech giant was pushed to the front of the agenda as its first Apple Watch collaboration was announced with none other than the most luxe of the luxe, Hermès.
Is that exclusive enough for you?
This was a development that was conspicuously not bandied about by the tech blogs which have been breathlessly reporting on rumored product developments for the past few weeks (giant iPad Pro with high tech pencil stylus confirmed), so it was a genuine surprise.
The Apple Watch Hermès will be available in October at select retailers. it comes with a classic single strap, signature double tour (see image above) or wider cuff strap, all with a customized Hermès watch face. Perhaps this is the push that was needed to get the Apple Watch into real luxury players like Barneys and Neiman Marcus. So far we have no price info yet for the watches, but stay tuned. We will update as soon as more information is released.
Now that Apple has updated the Apple Watch page, we can offer some more specific details about the new collaboration.
For starters, these are emphatically not separate bands for individual purchase as has been reported by some outlets, but only sold with Apple Watches in polished stainless steel and a custom Hermès face that will only be available on these models. Here are the prices for the three styles:
Double Tour in 38mm with four band colors: Fauve, Etain, Capucine, and Bleu Jean
Single Tour in 38 or 42mm with Fauve or Noir bands. Capucine band only in 38mm
- $1,100 and up
Cuff in 42mm with a Fauve band
The Cuff style has a cut-out in the back of the watch to allow the heart rate sensor to be in contact with the wrist. So far, we do not know if versions of the band can also be purchased with the gold Apple Watch Edition, but it is not listed as an option on the site.
As for stores that will be carrying the watch next month, there are only 17 North American retail outlets listed including Apple Stores in Eaton Center and Yorkdale in Toronto, Aventura and Miami Beach in Florida, The Grove in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Santa Monica. Hermès boutiques to be selling the watch include Beverly Hills, Miami and San Francisco. The only third party retailer listed so far is Maxfield in Los Angeles. In New York, the watches will be available only at Hermès on Madison Avenue and the Apple Stores on Fifth Avenue, Prince Street in SoHo and Broadway on the Upper West Side.
After the jump, click to enlarge some official images of the three styles
The Complete UNIQLO and LEMAIRE Collection Will Be Exclusive To Only Two New York Stores
Everything you need to know about the upcoming UNIQLO and LEMAIRE collaboration line short of trying on the clothes themselves hit the web yesterday as the Japanese mega chain activated the collection's dedicated web page including price lists and a complete lookbook for everyone to preview. We'll get to the clothes in a minute, but the big news for New Yorkers is that the complete collection for men and women will launch on October 2nd in only two U.S. stores as well as online. Lucky for us, those stores are the two flagships on Fifth Avenue and on 34th Street. Selected items from the collaboration will be distributed to all Uniqlo locations, but from what we can gather they will only comprise about a quarter to a third of the entire offering. One more store, the Chicago unit set to open later in October, will also have the complete collection, but that's it, at least for this round of the project. Sorry, West Coasters.
This all means that the launch in October may recall the +J launches of years past, before we had multiple Uniqlo branches and e-commerce, and eager shoppers would line up outside the single SoHo flagship store to get the best pieces before they sold out —and you can expect some things to sell out quickly from this upcoming collaboration too.
Lemaire is not quite as well known as Jil Sander was when she unexpectedly joined forces with the mass retailer to create the +J line, but now that the collection has been revealed in its entirety —at least in photos— we can see that it was created for the same customer looking for something soigné and sophisticated at mass chain prices. If Lemaire and Uniqlo looks as good in person as it does in the lookbook photos, then they should have another hit on their hands. The prices range from $24.90 for casual knit pieces to $199.90 for a wool and cashmere men's coat. Most items are priced well under $100, with outerwear and cashmere knits comprising the most expensive pieces. The line, like the main Lemaire label, is less about trendy flash than luxury basics with an abundance of merino wool knits to be layered for practicality. Longer, flared skirts, draped tunic sweaters and special pieces like the asymmetrical cape (pictured above, right) show that the chain is not afraid of making a pitch to its more mature female customers, a strategy that files in the face of most millennial-obsessed fast fashion chains. For men (pictured below), there are what appear to be looser fitting shirts and easy, soft trousers that are right in step with the looser, more forgiving silhouettes that have surfaced in the most recent men's designer collections. With the launch just over five weeks away, eager New York shoppers would do well to go online, pick their favorite items and plan to be at either the Fifth Avenue or 34th Stores as early as possible.
UNIQLO and LEMAIRE (at Uniqlo.com)
There's no going back to the old fashioned press release for H&M which has taken a social media heavy strategy to promote its upcoming collaboration with Balmain. Today it's a tweet from French ELLE (pictured above) of a strong shouldered minidress with long sleeves, a skimpy hemline and lavish embroidery that indicate the unmistakable signature of Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing. Since the collaboration was announced on the red carpet of the Billboard Music Awards and via Instagram, we should start to expect more images of the collection to casually drop until the official launch on November 5. It's looking like a good season for collaborations with Adam Lippes' Target line coming next month, the upcoming Uniqlo x Lemaire introduction and the always reliable GAP X GQ's Best New Menswear Designers quartet of capsules. Stay tuned for more updates.
In case you haven't noticed, Target is going all in with plaid for fall throughout its stores. Most of its exclusive brands are adding capsule collections in all kinds of tartan, but the centerpiece of the promotion is an exclusive collaboration with contemporary designer Adam Lippes set to drop on September 27th.
The line encompasses women's apparel —including plus sized looks— menswear —for those who have missed the designer's erstwhile men's collections of years past— accessories, shoes, pet items and tabletop.
Rather than taking the typical root to the Scottish highlands for inspiration, Lippes cleverly started with buffalo plaids and then re-imagined them, blew them up and morphed them into abstract windowpane checks for his collection which nicely reflects his signature, deceptively sophisticated casual style. Take a look below at what to pick for next month's launch, and, as always, plan ahead. Lippes may not have the name recognition of a Missoni or even Lilly Pulitzer, but Target's designer collaborations are back on track after a dry spell, so be prepared.
The first images from the upcoming UNIQLO and LEMAIRE collection have trickled onto the interwebs, and they promise a sleek, almost minimalistic aesthetic that, as we predicted, should please fans of the chain's erstwhile collaboration +J. Designed for Uniqlo by former Hermès creative director Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran, the new line promises "modern, advanced wardrobe mainstays". The pair commented about the collection in a recent press release,
“The UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE collection is based on the philosophy shared by both UNIQLO and LEMAIRE of making high-quality clothing for everyday life. We focused not simply on enhancing design, but insisting on high quality in the materials as well, with the aim of creating clothing that is simple, beautiful and comfortable. Each item incorporates several ideas, and a single piece shows a different facet depending on how it is worn. This collection has been a valuable experience for us as the designers, and an exceptional collaboration. WWe hope that this collection will be a part of everyone’s life.”
The first four images, shot by Alasdair McLellan, feature chunky shaker-style knits in a wrap sweater, engineered pullover and scarf (?) for women as well as a shawl collar pullover sweater for men worn with the kind of pleated pants that just showed up all over the runways in the European men's collections for next spring. It's just enough to whet our appetites for the new collection and get us counting down for the October launch. Have a look at the new images in the gallery above.
As the designer collaboration train rolls on, Target has announced that its fall "Plaid Takeover" promotion will include an exclusive collection by designer Adam Lippes to span apparel, accessories, pet goods and home furnishings. The line will consist of over 50 items in a buffalo plaid theme, and few other details about the collaboration have yet been released beyond that the promotion will start in August and extend through October, and Lippes' collection will hit stores on September 27th. The designer broke the news on his Instagram page (above), and tells target's own blog, "As a designer, I’ve always admired Target’s ability to make beautiful products available to everyone. I was thrilled when they approached me with the challenge of creating an entire collection around buffalo plaid. It’s also been exciting to design for categories that are entirely new for me." Look for more reveals throughout the summer designed to encourage you to get your lumberjack on for fall.
It's a Plaid, Plaid World at Target this Fall (Target/A Bullseye View)
H&M x Balmain Collaboration Announced On Twitter, Instagram & The Red Carpet
In a first for H&M, the chain's big Fall designer collaboration was announced by its designer on the red carpet of an awards show. At last night's Billboard Music Awards red carpet, Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing announced the upcoming collaboration flanked by models Jourdan Dunn and ubiquitous multimedia phenomenon Kendall Jenner (pictured below). His cohorts were reportedly dressed in looks from the upcoming collection, though it is unusual for H&M to release any kind of preview this far ahead of the launch date, November 5th. Further confirmation soon came from both Rousteing's and H&M's Instagram and Twitter feeds. While H&M has yet to issue a full press release, the only other bit of information we know is that the collection will include both women's and men's clothing and accessories, and, of course, can best be followed on social media with the hashtag #HMBalmaination. Will there be some good biker pants? It's a good bet, and something to ponder before the fast fashion giant opens its biggest store on the planet on Wednesday at the former Herald Center.
See some relevant embeds below, and stay tuned for updates.
UPDATED with the official images & video.
In an official statement designer Olivier Rousteing says, "I want to talk to my generation: this is my main purpose as a designer. H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain, getting a piece of the dream and creating a global #HMBalmaination: a movement of togetherness, fueled on a hashtag. The collaboration felt extremely natural to me because everybody can connect with the H&M brand. It calls for unity, and I am all for it."