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.
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.
UNIQLO x JW Anderson Arrives Next Week With Christophe Lemaire's Next UNIQLO U Delivery On Its Heels
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christophe Lemaire's Next UNIQLO U Collection Arrives In Less Than 2 Weeks
Collaboration watchers have another date to mark on their shopping calendars. The second season of the Uniqlo U capsule collection from its dedicated Paris studio led by designer Christophe Lemaire will be available at Uniqlo.com after 9 PM on February 15th, arriving in selected stores the next day. As usual, most U.S. Uniqlo stores will have a limited selection, but the exceptions include the North Michigan Avenue location as well as the three Manhattan flagships on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street and in SoHo, which will all carry the complete collection for men and women. For Spring, fans can look for the same clean-lined luxury basics aesthetic that has marked all of Lemaire's work with the chain. The collection is now meant to represent Uniqlo's most innovative materials and manufacturing techniques, so expect more cutting edge textiles along with silhouettes that incorporate current runway trends like wider legged pants and boxy, oversized knits. Women's swimwear will be a new addition, arriving later this season, along with a greater shoe offering and more workwear-inspired denim pieces including jeans and outerwear. Have a look at the full collection Here, and see a few more lookbook shots in the gallery after the jump.
For the fifth year running and celebrating the program's 10th season GAP and GQ have collaborated on capsule collections from the magazine's picks for the Best New Menswear Designers in America. This time, as was announced earlier this year, it's an all-star team featuring returning MVPs Steven Alan, Saturday's NYC, John Elliott and, a three time winner, Michael Bastian (all pictured above). The collections appeared in store today and on Gap.com and, as in past seasons, offer some classic, signature looks from each designer including double layered tees, stretchy ripped jeans and a well-priced moto jacket from Elliott, tailored shirts, khakis and slim tweed coat from Alan, graphic sportswear from Saturdays and typically eclectic separates from Bastian. You'll find them in Manhattan's more prominent Gap locations including Fifth Avenue in both Midtown and the Flatiron District, The Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Herald and Times Squares to name a few. As always, eager shoppers should act fast. Elliott's collection sold out almost to the piece within a day in 2014, and though Gap's merchandisers have ordered accordingly, popular pieces are already running low, like his double layered tees. Another caveat is that while prices have generally been somewhat higher than regular Gap fare, this season, they are a bit higher than they have been, but still substantially less expensive than any of these designers' regular lines. Online shopping is also a great option but note that the lines are not included in Gap.com's myriad price promotions, at least not initially, so sometimes it pays to wait, but if you have been waiting months for these collections to hit, you should act now.
Alexander Wang Confirmed His Adidas Collaboration And Then Sold It Out Of The Back Of A Truck
It was a big weekend for Alexander Wang. On Saturday night, he showed his Spring 2017 collection to rapturous reviews and also took the opportunity to confirm weeks of buzz about an upcoming collaboration with Adidas by sending it down the runway as his finale. While Wang did not join the see-now-buy-now bandwagon, he, along with his new athletic wear partner, made nine pieces and one shoe style of the upcoming Adidas Originals x Alexander Wang collection available to eager fans by setting up three one-hour pop-up events on Sunday in SoHo, Midtown and McCarren Park in Brooklyn. Thanks to the magic of modern social media Wang fans were fully alerted within moments of the end of the show, and less than 24 hours later were ready and waiting to form a line that stretched the extra-long block of Mercer Street between Canal and Grand Streets by the first noon call-time (pictured below). In keeping with the location, Wang decided to literally sell the limited production of preview items out of the back of a truck, evoking the all but lost counterfeit contraband nature of the mostly banished neighborhood knock-off merchants. Shoppers were strictly limited to one each of four items to minimize rapid reselling on eBay, and carried their purchases in black garbage-type bags tied with white Alexander Wang ribbons —in keeping with the contraband theme. The all-black limited edition items, including graphic tees, a jacquard jacket, hoodies, football shorts and a skate sneaker ranging in price from $80 to $230 sold out predictably quickly.
Along with the blink-and-you'll-miss-them pop-ups, Wang released some campaign images by photographer Juergen Teller which show, again, an almost entirely black collection that takes Adidas' signature three stripes and reverses them to emphasize their outlines along with an inverted Adidas trefoil insignia. It turns out that the dreaded portmanteau "Athleisure" is alive and well, but may have reached its peak with this collaboration. The rest f the 84-piece collection will his stores for the spring delivery season, so if you absolutely must be ahead of the general public, then you will have to make plans on September 17th when the trucks will be traveling to major international cities to repeat the pop-up events.
Another rumor is making the rounds as the summer's dog days approach, and this time it's former Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz who is said to be in talks with Japanese chain Uniqlo for an unspecified collaboration.
If there is any designer among the slate of those currently benched that everyone wants to see back in action, it's Elbaz, but what, if anything, does he have in mind for Uniqlo? It wouldn't be the first time he has allied with a big chain, as he is a veteran of a Lanvin collaboration with H&M from a few years back. Both parties are predictably mum on the subject, and it may be a while before we hear any kind of official news about it due to the inevitable non-compete clauses and the fact that Elbaz has not completely settled his separation from Lanvin.The disposition of his equity stake in the company is yet to be determined. In the meantime, however we can just imagine how Elbaz could lend his unique sense of style to Uniqlo's famously utilitarian wares. It's not likely that we will see the mega-chain venturing into evening and cocktail dresses, but maybe we will see some cashmere sweaters with a little extra flair? Possibly there will be some tricked out denim separates to follow up the Lanvin/Acme collab of sessions past? Even some well designed t-shirts wouldn't be outside his wheelhouse, so the possibilities are promising. Stay tuned.
We're not sure if there is an official name for Alexander Wang fans (Wang-heads? That seems wrong.) but, according to WWD, they should start getting excited about now because a collaboration with Adidas is reportedly in the works. The collaboration would presumably be announced right after the designer's Spring 2017 show on September 10. Details of the rumored line are not yet available, and the principals are remaining mum at the time, but it is said to be conceived along the lines of the athletic-wear company's long running collaborations like the ones it continues to produce with Stella McCartney, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Pharrell Williams, Yohji Yamamoto and, of course, Kanye West, whose brand concept has just recently been fully fleshed out. Whether or not it will be under the main Alexander Wang, T by Alexander Wang or another newly created moniker remains to be seen, but it is guaranteed to leap to the top of the designer collaboration list whenever it materializes. Look for confirmation in the coming weeks, and think about what the designer who once created dresses that pay tribute to the iconic Stan Smith and Rod Laver tennis shoes (pictured at right) could do with a full collaboration line at Adidas.