COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Is Alber Elbaz Making A Comeback With Uniqlo?

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.

Is Alber Elbaz Joining Uniqlo? (WWD)


COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Here's The First Glimpse Of Christophe Lemaire's Uniqlo U Collection

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UNIQLO Courtesy Images via Vogue.com

It isn't to be shown to the press until this afternoon in Paris, but the folks at Vogue.com got their hands on a few publicity shots (above and below) from the first ongoing Uniqlo U collection that designer Christophe Lemaire has been cooking up for the Japanese mega-chain in his new dedicated design studio. Unlike the last two seasons' Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration collections, this new label will be an ongoing label with its own design staff led by Lemaire himself. “As a designer interested in everyday life, in bringing solutions to feel good in your clothes, in trying to bring style and quality to the people, in making good clothes that could become like ‘good friends,’ I can only be excited to work for a brand that has this amazing capacity to make good quality affordable,” he tells Vogue.com. The few itms pictured, a sleek knit dress with a matching pullover around the neck, a dark melton coat and a down puffer jacket are simple basics elevated by Lemaire's sensibility —which is exactly what we were promised last month when the line was announced. Look for more images in the coming days isn the looks are revealed. It looks like the collections will be something worth looking forward to when they debut at retail this October.

A First Look at Christophe Lemaire’s New Uniqlo U Collection (Vogue.com)
Previously:
Collaboration Anticipation: Christophe Lemaire Will Make A Second Home At Uniqlo

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UNIQLO Courtesy Images via Vogue.com
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UNIQLO Courtesy Images via Vogue.com

 


COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Christophe Lemaire Will Make A Second Home At Uniqlo

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Christophe Lemaire and his new design team for Uniqlo U/Courtesy Image

There's good news today for those of us Uniqlo fans who were disappointed that the recent Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration did not become an ongoing collaboration for the Japanese based mega-chain. Designer Christophe Lemaire has joined Uniqlo on a permanent basis and will spearhead a new label called Uniqlo U (see the logo below) as the design director of a new Paris-based research and development center for the retailer. The new line will have a debut during Paris Couture week next month in advance of hitting all Uniqlo stores this fall. Lemaire (pictured above with his new team) will also continue with his own collection of luxury apparel, but his co-designer and romantic partner, Sara-Linh Tran who had joined him the previous collaboration with will not be joining him at Uniqlo, and will focus solely on the Lemaire label.

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The new Uniqlo U logo/Courtesy Image

When the Uniqlo and Lemaire collection collection sold out almost instantly at its launch last year, it was a good bet that collaboration would be a worthy replacement for the +J collection which was created by the designer Jil Sander for the chain to great success, but instead, we were told that it would end after the second installment, remnants of which are still available in Uniqlo stores. Rather than parting ways, it turned out that the designer and the chain had bigger things in mind. The new label will be more wide ranging than the limited collaboration line (hopefully with a fuller size range at the high end) and will have its own dedicated design staff. Comparing Uniqlo U to +J, Lemaire calls his new venture ". . . a little more democratic." He tells Business of Fashion, " The biggest issue was to design things that are essential enough to be timeless, and understood by everyone. Elevated basics, I call them. Our ambition is to fill the gap between what’s fashion and what’s ‘normal.’ I know the word ‘normcore’ is overused, but there’s something about normality I find very interesting — how do you make it super normal but refined and cool and desirable?"
While it turned out that +J was something for Sander to do between stints at the label that bore her own name, Uniqlo U is structured to exist as an integral part of the chain's assortment regardless of the status of Lemaire's increasingly popular eponymous collection. Instead of being doled out to select Uniqlo flagship stores, Uniqlo U is expected to be available in all of Uniqlo's stores —1,774 of them at last count. There will be between 500,000 and 1 million of each unit produced which will hopefully ensure that the best pieces won't sell out immediately as well as create some economy of scale that will help costs from spiraling too high. We will be keeping an eye out for the first collection's unveiling next month, but will also be relieved to know that when it hits stores in the fall, it is expected to stay there for a while.

Christophe Lemaire Joins Uniqlo (Business of Fashion)

 


COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Uniqlo's Liberty Of London Line Arrived In Stores Today With Few Crowds But Plenty Of Good Merch

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If you were worried that Uniqlo's new collaboration collection with Liberty of London was going to create the kind of frenzy that the iconic Brtish textile brand whipped up when it teamed up with Target a few years ago, then you can rest easy. Things at the Japanese chain's Fifth Avenue flagship were reasonably calm at midday today when the Shophound stopped by to check out the collaboration in person. The shelves and racks seemed fully stocked with the brand's famous florals translated into fairly classic items that should ultimately sell easily, but nobody should be put off by the notion that there might be aggressive crowds flocking to the store. Apparently, Uniqlo is not yet at Target's level of promotional skill, but maybe one day it will be.
But back to the clothes on hand, though the collection is billed as being for men and women, the men's offerings consist of a single, classic style of linen shirt in five floral patterns of a suitably masculine shades of blue. The women's collection includes several printed tees, two styles of jersey dresses —one long and one short, loose drawstring shorts along and tote bags, slippers and other accessories all in various Liberty prints. It's also priced to move with nothing under $39.90, so if the intermittent balmy weather has made you ready for flowers that have yet to bloom on their own, a printed top may be a good temporary Spring fix.
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COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Have A Look At The First Images For Uniqlo x Liberty Of London

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We can barely keep track of Uniqlo's plethora of designer collaborations this season —and that's not a complaint. As we anticipate the launch of the next and final (sob) Uniqlo and Lemaire capsule in a couple of weeks, we can look forward to the release of the chain's team-up with Liberty of London which is now expected just a couple more weeks after that. The fast folks at Vogue UK released three images online this morning from the ad campaign that we feel confident will be festooning buses and subway cars throughout the city in a matter of weeks. Shot by superstar Nick Knight and styled by Charlotte Stockdale, the three images present the kind of medley of Liberty's renowned floral prints that we would hope to see from the famous brand. So far we only have images of the women's collection, but the collaboration will include merchandise for men and children as well. "We have selected highly popular, vibrant floral patterns from among the Liberty prints, adored throughout the world by people across generations and cultures, and brought them together with Uniqlo's cutting-edge sensibilities to be reborn as LifeWear," says Yukihiro Katsuta, Uniqlo's head of research and design. The collaboration comes as the British brand celebrates its 40th anniversary, and the images apparently only touch on the offerings to come from the collaboration. We hear that floral down puffer jackets are on the way. If you can recall the mania that ensued when Target's Pop-up for its Liberty collaboration got cleaned out in record time a few years ago, then you will know to get up early to hit either the web or a Uniqlo store on the morning of March 18th. Set your alarms now.

EXCLUSIVE: Uniqlo X Liberty First Look (Vogue UK)

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COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

UNIQLO and LEMAIRE Arrives In About 6 Weeks
See The New Lookbook Images
UPDATED

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For those of you who have been waiting for the arrival of the Spring edition of the Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration, the countdown has begun. The chain's global website for the line designed by Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-linh Tran went live today with flat preview images of every single item plus a bunch of lookbook shots on models to get a better idea of the pieces' fit and proportions. There are no radical surprises for spring, just more of those sophisticated basics in a muted color palette that look much more expensive than they actually are. As with last fall's debut collection, there are tons of great knits, this time in cotton. Overall, the prices actually seem a bit lower than last season, if you can believe it. Many of the sellout items from last season have been translated into lighter weight fabrics including some of those heavy woolen men's trousers that sat on the racks but seem much more appealing now in more seasonal materials. The great shirts are now available in an expanded range of colors and fabrics including bold, summery awning stripes, and there are plenty of new spring items like shorts, tanks and a great cotton blouson jacket just to name a few.
The collection arrives in stores and online on March 4th and, as with last season, the complete collection will only be available in the three Uniqlo flagships in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street and Broadway in SoHo, so start setting your plan of attack now. A smaller, select assortment will be available in in only three more stores in California including Union Square in San Francisco, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. Everyone else will have to on alert for the when the collection hits the web on March 4th. If last season's response is any indication, you won't have too much time to get what you want in the size you need, so set your alarms, and pick out what you want to buy early.

UPDATE:
There's good news and bad news.
First the good: Uniqlo has announced that as a result of last year's strong positive response to the collaboration, the number of stores carrying Uniqlo and Lemaire in the U.S. will be increased to nine including Chicago and other unspecified locations. It will be also be made available in 16 additional markets and regions.
Now the bad: According to the retailer, this will be the final edition of the Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration. While they had hinted that it might be a continuing program like the Ines de la Fressange line, this will be the last iteration of the collection, so don't sleep on it. It's not coming back next fall.

Uniqlo and Lemaire (Official Site)

See the new lookbook after the jump

Continue reading "COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

UNIQLO and LEMAIRE Arrives In About 6 Weeks
See The New Lookbook Images
UPDATED" »


COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Carine Roitfeld's Uniqlo Collection Returns In February

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As we have mentioned before, Uniqlo has been hitting home runs with its designer collaborations lately, and it seems like the chain is moving away from the one-and-done model of other fast fashion companies in favor of continuing team-ups over several seasons. First at bat for 2016 is celebrity editor Carine Roitfeld with the second installment of her (hopefully ongoing) collaboration. There are no big surprises in store, just more of the kind of thing that sold out in minutes the last time around, so look for more pencil skirts and sharply tailored jackets, slim reefer coats and sexy tops. There are now more variations on camouflage prints, a new skirt with a flirty bias ruffle for just a bit of frill, and several versions of the zippered flight jacket that has taken street style stars by storm this season. The still from the promotional video above is the only look we have seen on a model so far. Sexy seamed hosiery, scarves and bags round out the selection which should easily have Roitfeld's fans old and new lining up on February 11th when the collection hits stores. See after the jump for the all-too brief video that Harper's Bazaar just released, and a look at some selected items from the collection

Continue reading "COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

Carine Roitfeld's Uniqlo Collection Returns In February" »


COLLABORATION REDUX:

Uniqlo And Lemaire's Sellout Sweaters Are Back For The Holidays

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The folks at Uniqlo promised that they would have replenishments of their popular Lemaire collaboration in stores for the Holiday season, and yesterday, they made good as some key knitwear pieces from the line appeared at the chain's Fifth Avenue flagship (as pictured above) and on Uniqlo.com. Sadly, even a fast fashion giant couldn't turn around a reorder of the entire collection on such short notice, but the fast selling sweaters were able to be produced in time. Five women's styles, the Cashmere Blended Cropped Sweater, the Cashmere Blended Square Sweater, the Flare V-Neck Sweater the Milano Rib Long Sleeved jacket and the Milano Rib Skirt, and two for men, the Merino Blended Mock Neck Sweater and the Knit Jacket are all available again in multiple colors for however long they last. While the collection was an unqualified success, there are a few items still hanging around in abundance from the initial delivery including Both men's and women's outerwear and the heavy wool and cashmere trousers for men which with no help from the unusually warm season, seemed to have missed their connections with eager customers. They are on sale, now for anyone holding out hope that freezing Winter temperatures are just around the corner, or maybe the next corner. That should be enough to hold Lemaire fans over for the next few months before a new season of the likely to be ongoing collaboration arrives in Uniqlo stores for the Spring.


COLLABORATION ANTICIPATION:

UNIQLO To Team Up With Liberty Of London This Spring

Liberty-UniqloRemember that Liberty of London collaboration with Target a few years ago? When the pop-up store they opened near Bryant Park had lines wrapped around the block and it sold out so fast that they had to close two days early?
Well, get ready to revisit that moment as the iconic British textile company is set to have another go at fast fashion when a new team-up arrives in Uniqlo stores worldwide this Spring. The collaboration as part of Uniqlo's LifeWear program is meant to combine classic British style with the chain's focus on technical innovation including collections for women, men and children. This will give Uniqlo a full lineup of designer collaborations with at least one more installment of the sellout Uniqlo and Lemaire line, ongoing programs with Inès de la Fressange and Michael Bastian and possibly some more from the well-received Carine Roitfeld collection. We don't yet have an official launch date for Liberty of London for Uniqlo, but you will know it has arrives when you see the stores festooned with floral prints and the purple loge pictured above.


COLLABORATION RESTORATION:

Uniqlo And Lemaire Will Be Replenished With Re-Orders For The Holiday Season

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The launch of Uniqlo's collaboration line with Lemaire exceeded everyone's expectations last Friday with items selling out within minutes of the store openings and within a few hours online. The lines of shoppers throughout the day (pictured above) even took executives with the highest expectations by surprise.The only disappointment came from customers who might have presumed that the chain would have made enough product to keep stores in stock for at least a few weeks.
At this point, there are only a few pieces left available, but there's hope for customers who missed out. The chain has ordered new production runs of the debut Uniqlo and Lemaire collection to be in stores in time for Holiday shopping.
While a Spring collection in collaboration with designers Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-linh Tran has already been announced —and will hopefully be produced in quantities great enough to avoid instant sell-out— Uniqlo executives clearly recognized that they underestimated the demand for the launch and have moved to correct the situation while desire for the collection still runs high. "It was a global phenomenon," Uniqlo's director of merchandising Justin Kerr told WWD, "We were all very excited and wanted to see, ‘How do we keep the momentum going not only with the next collection but also chasing the fall collection as we move into the holidays?’ That was something we wanted to achieve very quickly and Uniqlo’s fantastic operation allows us to have that flexibility.”
Even hugely popular collections have a few pieces that fail to attract customers, but this collaboration yielded no "dogs" as they are often called in the retail industry. "Usually, you have winners and losers," Kerr reports, "With this one, really the whole collection was well-received. There were no disappointments. There were only pleasant surprises of things that even outpaced our high expectations.” Hopefully, along with replenishment deliveries, this means that we will see more Uniqlo and Lemaire beyond next season. In the meantime, we'll be keeping an eye out in the coming weeks for the collection to make its way back into stores.

Uniqlo and Lemaire Have a Winning Weekend Launch (WWD)