UNIQLO X Michael Bastian Polo Shirts Are Back Now —For Kids, Too!

Our favorite designer collaboration of last year (and, ever, really) just made an surprise return appearance today as 38 styles of Uniqlo X Michael Bastian polo shirts just hit the chain's website this afternoon. His collection for Gant may be ending this fall, but his relationship with Uniqlo is apparently continuing which couldn't delight The Shophound more. Some styles are repeats from last Spring, and others are brand new, and if that isn't enough for you there is a whole new batch scheduled to arrive on April 14. The price is a little bit higher, $22.90 vs. last year's $19.90, but that's still a pittance compared to the price of similar pieces in his own label, or even the Gant line —and it looks like they are selling fast online. We haven't even gotten a chance to get into the stores to see them, but as always, the best styles won't stick around for long.
And here's just one more twist: This season's collection introduces 11 styles for kids, so you can share some of that classic style with the young'uns this year.

New Polo Shirts Designed by Michael Bastian (


Michael Bastian's House Of Wax & Hay

"What is the significance of this giant haystack?"
That was the perfectly reasonable question that a random gentleman asked nobody in particular as The Shophound was exiting Michael Bastian's pop-up shop at the SuperPier in Chelsea. We told him, "It's a store."
He looked at us blankly.
"If you go inside, they'll explain it, " we said as we walked away, knowing that we ourselves probably couldn't fully explain the odd, shipping container based structure that the design "farm" Bitterang created to display Bastian's uncharacteristically moody Fall 2013 collection. The team of Antonio Torres and Michael Loverich managed to build an even darker and more surrealistic environment than Bastian's Gothic, Andrew Wyeth inspired runway show would have suggested featuring an anteroom with walls entirely covered in wax drippings, and lit, naturally, by candles. Venture through the feather-covered portal (cleverly referencing the designer's wing insignia) to an even darker room and find a selection of clothes from Bastian's latest collection in very low light, including a few specially commissioned pieces just for the store. The overall effect is more like that of a set for a dream sequence from "American Horror Story" or "Hannibal", than of a place one would suggest for successfully selling expensive clothes, but BOFFO's Building Fashion program, of which this shop is the latest project, is less about commerce and more about invention and creative expression, and on that level, they succeeded.

As for Michael Bastian, we would love to see a real boutique open for him sometime (or even a more dedicated in-store shop in a store like Bergdorf's). While the enigmatic, mysterious environment that Bitterang created for him for his Fall 2013 collection well, ultimately, that line turned out to be more of an entertaining detour than a bold new direction for Bastian's label. His next collection turned out to be a return to the sunnier, classic-based look that his brand is built on. His Pop-up project made us wonder what a real, fully functioning Michael Bastian boutique would ultimately look like.

BOFFO Building Fashion 2013 Michael Bastian + Bitterang through November 21 at SuperPier 57, Chelsea
Have a closer look at the shop in the gallery below

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Uniqlo Taps Social Media For Suno & Michael Bastian Collaboration Contests

Monday will be a bigger than usual day at UNIQLO as the Japanese based chain launches its first major collaborations with American designers in several seasons. To make sure you don't miss out, the retailer is running two contests through Facebook and Twitter to drum up excitement among customers.

There's not much time to enter Contest #1. The lucky winner will receive a "Personal Shopping Experience" with either designer Michael Bastian or the Suno designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty at the collections' launch party on Monday May 20th at the Uniqlo Fifth Avenue Flagship plus a $100 shopping credit to spend at the event. Entrants must register on Facebook HERE, and then Tweet a question to the designers at @UniqloUSA that you would like them to answer including the tags, "#AsktheDesigner @UNIQLOUSA" all before 3 PM tomorrow, May 17th.

Contest #2 is giving away 10 of Michael Bastian's Uniqlo Polo Shirts each week to winners who choose their favorite styles from the collection on Facebook HERE. You can re-enter once every hour, so it's up to you to increase your odds.

UNIQLO Launch Party with Michael Bastian and SUNO, UNIQLO x Michael Bastian Polo Giveaway (Facebook)
UNIQLO (Official Site)


The Gant Sample Sale Is Back

One of the city's most agreeably reliable sample sales starts today. The Shophound got a preview of the Gant sample sale yesterday afternoon. Like an old friend you see twice a year, the label's reliably preppy basics were on display as expected, though perhaps a bit sparser than in past seasons. Nevertheless, regulars will be pleased. Things were calm and organized at yesterday's VIP preview, though we managed to get out before the expected after-work rush.

As usual, the sale included the regular Gant label as well as Gant Rugger and Gant by Michael Bastian. The company has an enormous sample line, which is where most of the stock comes from, so there are few multiples, and selections vary from size to size. While there is women's apparel available, it is limited to a few racks in the back. essentially this is a men's sale, and nearly all the sportswear items are priced below $50, so it's one of the best priced sample sales around, and fans are known to tote home armloads of clothes at a fraction of their original retail prices. The best bets for most tops are in size Medium, though there is merchandise in most sizes. Trousers went from 28 to 38, and other categories followed a similarly inclusive size range. While, in the past, there have been only size Medium samples available in the most popular Bastian and Rugger labels, this season there was a bit more overstock from past seasons as well as the Pre-Spring 2013 line that is still in stores now -including an abundance of Bastian down vests and pants like the kelly green chinos and the signature skinny cargo in navy camo print (we snagged a pair even though we are on camouflage rehab). How long they will last is anybody's guess, but the sale is running for a whopping six days through this Sunday, so there must still be some backstock. An extra plus- no cheap brown paper bags. Every customer got their purchases in a nice navy blue Gant shopping bag.

Perhaps the best bargain was in accessories which featured rugged duffles and totes originally priced over $1,000 selling for less than $100. A small selection of shoes was priced at a mere $27 a pair. Check out our gallery below for the basic price list and a glimpse at what you can expect to find at the sale this week

Gant Sample Sale through May 19 at 260 Fifth Avenue between 28th & 29th Street, Flatiron District
See SALE ROLL at left for details

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More On Uniqlo's Collaborations With Michael Bastian & Suno

May 20th is going to be a big day at Uniqlo stores as they unveil their first American designer collaborations in a few seasons. The hype is already starting. Yesterday, the retailer released the video above which shows designer Michael Bastian discussing his polo shirt project. The secret, it turns out, is a perfectly fitted short sleeve that maximizes bicep shape, so take note. From what we can tell, it looks like there may be nearly 50 different styles and colorways in this collection, which is an impressive offering.

As for the Suno line debuting on the same day, there is no video yet, but the fashion blogs are all abuzz for the first big high-profile collaboration from designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty. We have scoured the internets to find as many images we could of the collection, so click on our gallery below to see what's to come.

You may be inclined to line up in front of the nearest Uniqlo store on May 20th to make sure you get the best choice since the polo shirts will all be priced at a mere $19.90, and the Suno collection is reported to top out at $39.90. Remember how much fun it was to queue up for those +J launches? Yeah, anyway, now that there are three giant flagships plus new mall stores popping up every other minute, it might not be such a crush this time around. We recommend checking the lower profile 34th Street store first, since the weekday crowds there are lighter than on Fifth Avenue or in SoHo, and it tends to be the last to sell out of things. This time, as a back up and for customers who are not near an Uniqlo store, you will be able to purchase the collections online which should also make things easier, and don't forget to watch this space as more information is released.

UNIQLO x Michale Bastian (Official Site)
Uniqlo Turns Back To America For Lines With Suno & Michael Bastian


Uniqlo Turns Back To America For Lines With Suno & Michael Bastian

UNIQLOpolosIt has been a while since Uniqlo has tapped American designers for its many collaboration lines. The most recent we can recall was a team-up with Costello-Tagliapietra for a series of well-received dress collections a couple of years ago, and we would have to go back even longer to remember Designer Invitation collections from American menswear brands like Loden Dager, Tim Hamilton and Gilded Age. Lately the chain has been focusing on Japanese women's sportswear designers, but that will change next week when the store launches a plethora of new polo shirts designed by Michael Bastian (who is having a busy week of publicity right now). There's no shortage of polos on Uniqlo's shelves right at this moment, but Bastian's will add the designer's special signatures including bold, unexpected prints, and a devotion to perfect proportions that trims down the silhouette and creates an arm enhancing sleeve. “It should fit right above the biceps to give the illusion that you are just about to bust out of it,” he tells the New York Times, so you may want to either buy a size up or just put down that bagel.
The best part is that they will retail for a mere $19.90 which less than a fifth of what a similar shirt might cost even from the designer's less expensive collection for Gant.

Bastian isn't the only American designer to check into Uniqlo's studios this season. Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis of the women's label Suno will have a collection of cotton dresses hitting the chain's store's next month, just in time for Summer wardrobe shopping.

You can plan to wear your new clothes on a Friday night to the Museum of Modern Art, where Uniqlo will become the exclusive sponsor of its Friday night free admission program which waives entry fees on that day from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. The chain will take over the sponsorship from Target on May 3, and the first 1000 visitors on that night will receive special Uniqlo tote bags, so mark your calendars

Front Row: The Polo Rebuttoned By Eric Wilson (NYTimes)

It turns out that those Michael Bastian polo shirts won't be hitting Uniqlo stores until May 20th, so save the date. has 23 images of them HERE and HERE. It can't hurt to make your choices early.

The $20 Dollar Polo That Looks Like It Costs $200  &  See More from the Uniqlo x Michael Bastian Polo Collection (


A Pop-Up Store For Michael Bastian
Is Set For This November

BastianFW13You can make your Fall shopping plans early this year. The BOFFO Building Fashion program took a hiatus last year, but it will be making a welcome return this Fall with three new shops starting with one for menswear designer Michael Bastian. The new 640-square-foot shop will run for three weeks this November. The program teams up fashion designers with innovative architectural settings, and in the past has staged installations for Simon Spurr, Nicola Formichetti, Siki Im and Patrik Ervell to name a few. Boffo is accepting submissions through May 23rd at for a competition to design an interior for Bastian's shop which will be housed in two shipping containers at Pier 57 in Chelsea. The winner will receive a $20,000 prize on top of whatever resources they will need to execute the interior. There will also be upcoming shops for one womenswear designer and one accessories designer who are yet to be announced.

As for Bastian, he now designs his own signature label as well as the popular, ongoing  Gant by Michael Bastian collaboration collection so he should have more than enough product to fill the shop and draw customers to it. Reportedly, offerings will include exclusive runway pieces from his Fall 2013 collection (pictured at left) that will not be available at other retailers. WWD reports that this project will serve as a precursor of sorts to his own permanent shop which he is actively planning. Bastian is a rare designer who also has an extensive background in retailing, so when he finally opens his permanent showplace, we can reasonably expect something impressive. Stay tuned for more details as they are released.

Michael Bastian Goes BOFFO (WWD)
BOFFO Building Fashion
(Official Site)
Submit proposals at

Michael Bastian (Official Site)


The GANT Sample Sale Returns
For An Abbreviated Fall Run

The Shophound doesn't review too many sample sales these days, but the seasonal GANT sale is always a favorite, and it's become something of a sleeper among the guys who are looking for some fresh classics for a particularly sweet price. This season it threw us for a loop of sorts, reverting back to it's traditional, early October date after a much later run last year, but for a shorter, three-day run. Originally set for a smaller space, the sale returned to 260 Fifth Avenue to accommodate more merchandise. It's the second season since this sale moved outside the brand's showroom, and while there's not nearly as much stock as there were at last spring's bountiful sale, there are still plenty of good pieces to be had. We weren't able to be there at the beginning of the V.I.P. preview yesterday, but we managed to make it in at the end of the day, and there were still a few odd fall 2012 samples left from the Gant by Michael Bastian label if you could pick them out of the racks. Mostly what is available is from the main Gant label including plenty of shirts, pants and sweaters along with a nicer than usual selection of casual sportcoats. As we expected, the prices are again a bit higher than they were in the showroom days (click through for a list), but they are still pretty cheap, especially for accessories like ties and belts of which there were quite a few. The sale runs through Saturday, and it's a pretty safe bet that prices will be reduced that day. There is just a bit of women's wear available, mostly from the Bastian collection, but the bulk of the sale is for the guys. Regular Gant fans know that this sale really is mostly samples in sizes M and L, so there is not much of a size slection. Be there at 10 AM on Thursday morning for first pick.

GANT Sample Sale Thursday October 11th through Saturday the 13th at 260 Fifth Avenue between 28th & 29th Streets, Midtown South

Continue reading "SAMPLE SALE REPORT:

The GANT Sample Sale Returns
For An Abbreviated Fall Run
" »


The New And Improved
GANT Sample Sale Starts Today

To be honest, The Shophound was a little bit concerned that the GANT Sample Sale was going to happen while we were gallivanting around Los Angeles last week, but we were happy to discover that the sale would be taking place the week after we came home ...and spent all our money on vacation. Oh well... It opens to the public today.

This seasonal sale has become such a sleeper hit, that the folks at Gant have finally moved it out of their midtown showroom and into the popular facility at 260 Fifth Avenue that most seasoned New York sample sale shoppers will be very familiar with. Yesterday, there was a mid-afternoon VIP preview, but the folks at Gant kindly asked us not to encourage non-invitees to try their luck at early entry because there was, in fact a strictly enforced guest list, this season. At a quarter to three, there was already a sizable line outside in the light drizzle (above), but we got inside quickly ince the doors opened at three o'clock, and here's what we can report about the new version of the sale —mostly pros, and a few cons.

PRICES: You can click on the list below to see that the prices are a little bit higher than in past seasons (boo!) but not by much (yay!). The days of all pants for $20 each may be over, but $35 is still a pretty damn good deal for pants that start at around $100 and go up from there at retail. You can still take home a pretty sizable haul for a fraction of what you would pay at full price. And there are some steals to be had, particularly in accessories like belts for $20 including handmade pieces from Sweden's Tärnsjö Tannery that retail for $175.
Click below to enlarge as clear a shot as we could get of the price list.

SAMPLES: As regular shoppers of this sale know, the sale really consists almost entirely of vast amounts of showroom samples. That has usually meant only trimly cut Mediums from the Rugger and Gant by Michael Bastian labels and more generous fitting Mediums and Larges from the main Gant brand. This season, however, shopper will find a bit more STOCK (yay!) from previous seasons. That means there are a few styles in full size runs, particularly in outerwear from Rugger and Bastian. If you are a Small, XL or even an XXL who has been shut out of previous Gant sales, you may be in luck.

SELECTION: It's the same as you have come to remember: a TON of shirts, sweaters and pants. This time, thanks to more space, almost everything is hanging on racks, and there are now attendants behind some of the tables to help you rummage through cartons of accessories and boxes of shoes. Somehow, this makes it both easier and harder to shop, since sizes were almost instantly jumbled, and some of the racks were so crammed that it was difficult to see the merchandise, so have some patience, and hone your sixth shopping sense. The arrangement is somewhat random as well, with some jackets over here and some over there, etc. Thoroughness counts here, especially since all three labels are mixed in together.

All things considered, this is the Gant sale you have come to know and love, just in a more convenient location with more space. Will prices get slashed to Walmart levels on the last day? Are they ever not? Just remember, this season the last day is on Saturday instead of Friday, but if you had your heart set on grabbing a pair of the Michael Bastian Watermelon Camo cut-off cargo shorts, don't get your hopes up. We got what we're pretty sure was the only pair.

The GANT Sample Sale through May 19th at 260 Fifth Avenue between 28th & 29th Streets, Midtown.
Tuesday through Friday: 10 AM - 8PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM


A Pack Of Presentations With
GANT by Michael Bastian,
Rachel Roy, Fotini & Alice + Olivia's
Ice Cream Treat


At the corner of Tenth Avenue and 36th Street, Exit Art is convenient to exactly nothing, and yet every Fashion Week, someone lures The Shophound over there for one thing or another. This time, Michael Bastian used it for both of his shows. A few days ago, we gushed about his main runway presentation, and yesterday, we were back again to see his increasingly popular collection for GANT shown in a static presentation (pictured above). For him, we are happy to go out of our way.

The designer made good use of the snow machine that added atmosphere to the set of his runway show, repurposing it in the center of the reconfigured space, creating a snowglobe effect and sprinkling his models with fake flakes. This collection, called "The Lucky Ones", was a nostalgic look back at his college years in Boston during the '80s, and his friends who were all lucky to find each other. It's a charming backstory that happens to mesh perfectly with Gant's preppy, Northeastern heritage. Rather than making his models stand at attention like sentries, Bastian lets them move and mug for the cameras if they feel like it, and there's always one who can't help dancing on his platform to the music. The designer himself greeted guests and gave interviews looking, after two Fashion Week events under his name, like he just finished his last final exam. It's always a fun show, and there's a tons of stuff to want for next Fall especially if, like us, you can never get enough tweed jackets, striped shirts and slim cargo pants. Plus he serves cocktails, so there's no losing there. Click below to see the whole collection.

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It's true that not every designer should be putting on a runway show, particularly smaller, up and coming ones, but even some well established players prefer a more informal presentation. RACHEL ROY could easily fill a Lincoln Center tent at this point, but, apparently, prefers a low key event. Still, she had showgoers waiting on the sidewalk to get into her presentation at Alice Tully Hall, and letting people take a lingering look at the models does allow a better appreciation of her architectural, color blocked collection. It was among her most refined, and, as a plus, the venue allowed passersby to peer inside and get a little taste of Fashion Week for themselves.


For all the exodus from the Lincoln Center tents, showing there still has its advantages as designer FOTINI discovered when guests spilled out of the Naeem Khan show and passed by her modest presentation suddenly filling up the Box tent. Although we wouldn't want to be an eveningwear designer showing immediately after Khan's glittery tour de force (more on that later), Fotini had something Khan didn't, and that was a table piled with tasty macarons! There's no underestimating the power of a surprise afternoon snack, and we only ate, like, a dozen or so...

The last time we went to an ALICE + OLIVIA presentation, it was across the street from Bryant Park in designer Stacey Bendet's own shop, so it was a cramped but festive affair. In the years since, her label has grown, and so has her presentation style which took us to Chelsea late on Monday afternoon. She proved that she knows how to throw a party, and while guests had to wait outside on West 22nd street while an industrial elevator ferried them up to the show, once inside there were two full bars, tons of food and free Magnum ice cream bars for all. Clothes? Oh yeah, they were they were cute and lively, on models smartly lined up along the walls to make room for the party. There was even a special "red carpet" section where celebrity after celebrity was trotted out for photographers. Johnny Weir, ex-Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon and Kristin Chenoweth anong others all made their appearances while the models (below) patiently vamped yards away, hoping for a little attention to come their way. It's tough to compete with free ice cream.