68 posts tagged "Ralph Lauren"
Memorial Day is the traditional kickoff to the summer season—even if forecasts in the northeast make it feel more like sweater weather. In celebration of the holiday, we’ll be off Monday. Here’s hoping you are, too. See you Tuesday.
Uniqlo recruits from fashion, but its aims are larger than fashion. That was the overriding message at this week’s presentation of its new self-designated category: LifeWear. “Yanai-san always says Uniqlo is not sportswear or casualwear,” said the company’s design director, Naoki Takizawa. “We have a function. This is clothing for a new category.” Yanai-san is Mr. Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, and his ambitions are global. No surprise that Uniqlo’s push into the U.S. and globally in the last few years will keep going strong. The label will open more stores here in the next year, as many as 20 in 2014 alone. “It’s a very interesting approach for me,” said Takizawa, who prior to joining Uniqlo was creative director at Issey Miyake. “Fashion is a segment. But Uniqlo is design for 100 million pieces, 100 million people.”
In observance of the fact that 100 million global customers won’t follow the same trends, Uniqlo is reorganizing itself to put function at the forefront. The U.S. may go in for a different look than Japan or elsewhere, but an American customer, like a Japanese one, wants to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. She’ll appreciate the new breathable AIRism fabric (developed, according to the package, with “Toray Industries Inc.”) for the former, and Uniqlo’s successful Heattech, the product of eight years of development, for the latter. The company sees itself less as a design studio than a laboratory: developing new fibers and fabrics, competing not with other fashion companies so much as with its own past performance. “Uniqlo doesn’t need to change a lot every season,” Takizawa said. He likened its product development more to the incremental upgrades of the iPhone: first the 4, then the 5.
So for the present, Uniqlo will focus on nine categories, both established success stories (stretch denim, affordable cashmere, fleece) and new areas of interest and innovation (silk being key among them). You can expect to see and feel that change in Uniqlo stores come August. But all of this is not to say fashion is being discounted. Nicola Formichetti, who will continue in his role as the company’s creative fashion director even now that he’s been named Diesel’s creative director, styled the presentation of Fall looks to the editorial hilt. (Strong support was provided by Katsuya Kamo, the Japanese hairstylist and milliner who created the headpieces for the presentation; label brass made sure to note that he’s previously worked with Comme des Garçons and Chanel.) And Yuki Katsuta—the head of research and design, who arrived at Uniqlo via Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, and Ralph Lauren—continues to search for designers with whom to collaborate, and new ways in which to do so. He’s just coming off a partnership with his old Bergdorf’s colleague Michael Bastian for a new kind of capsule collection: one limited entirely to one category, the polo shirt. It’s been going gangbusters in Japan, and arrives at U.S. Uniqlo stores later this month.
It’s been a big week for the London Collections: Men, with Rag & Bone and Pringle of Scotland announcing that they would join the likes of Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, and Burberry in presenting during the city’s third menswear showcase this June. “I think London is pretty much the home of menswear. Look at Savile Row and the great heritage we have. We invented the suit!” said Dylan Jones—the editor in chief of British GQ and the chair of London’s men’s collections—at an event at the British Residence in New York last night. The occasion, which drew the likes of BFC chief executive Caroline Rush, Dominic Jones, Nasir Mazhar, Sibling’s Cozette McCreery, Lou Dalton, and more, marked the announcement of London’s Spring 2014 menswear schedule. The lineup includes the above-mentioned international brands, as well as talents like Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll, and James Long. Long, fresh out of the London Showrooms, which visited New York this week, offered, “When I started menswear in London, we had to struggle to have a voice. It was very behind womenswear. Now, all these supportive people have made [London menswear] happen, and it’s so funny being in New York and having menswear be the focus.” Caroline Rush concurred. “The womenswear designers have great recognition, but to put that spotlight on these incredible menswear brands is really important,” she said.
One might wonder why the British Fashion Council chose to reveal the London menswear roster in Manhattan rather than on its home turf. “We’re here tonight…because so many New York designers have supported us since we launched 18 months ago,” said Jones in his speech, noting that Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, and more had all lent a hand. He added that Tommy Hilfiger, David Furnish, Tracey Emin, and Details magazine will all be throwing “amazing” parties during the upcoming shows, which will run from June 16 to 18. “When [everyone] goes over to Milan, they’re going to have one hell of a hangover,” he laughed. The complete Spring 2014 London Collections: Men schedule is available at www.londoncollections.co.uk.
You can’t miss a Panos Yiapanis photograph. Since beginning his career in the late nineties—working alongside photographer Corinne Day—the 38-year-old stylist has honed a dark, gritty, raw-to-the-bone aesthetic that is distinctly his own. His particular vision has led to a longstanding creative relationship with Rick Owens, as well as countless spreads in such magazines as i-D, W, and Vogue Italia shot by the likes of Steven Meisel, Inez & Vinoodh, and Mert & Marcus. To add to his accomplishments, last week, Katie Grand tapped him to become Love‘s fashion director-at-large. Here, Yiapanis talks to Style.com about the new gig, the state of fashion, and staying true to his look.
Why did now feel like the right time to join a magazine?
I feel like I’ve come full circle in terms of what I do. I’ve kind of been nomadic, which is putting it nicely. I’ve been a gypsy, going from one magazine to another. I feel like I’m back to where I was aesthetically when I first started out in terms of what I want to say, so having this position now gives me a new way of conveying that message. When I first started out, a lot of what I did was very personal and I had evolved away from doing that. People would say, “Well, maybe that’s a little too creative for us,” so I started to clean up what I did, which didn ‘t work for me. I’m happier doing what I enjoy, so it felt right to go back to my messier aesthetic.
How do you balance art and commerciality?
I don’t think you have to. I always argue that the best results are when both of them are at their height. I always yap about the nineties, when brands were willing to put out campaigns that captured the spirit of the brand as opposed to the product. That seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way. So I don’t think creativity and commercialism are mutually exclusive. I honestly think they’re best when they both collide. But that doesn’t seem to be a thought that’s shared widely right now.
Your aesthetic is usually described as dark and moody. Do you feel that’s accurate?
It’s funny because when the Love announcement was made, I saw this tweet that said, “Love just got darker.” And I don’t know if that’s necessarily true; maybe I just got a bit brighter. There is a darkness to what I do, but it’s never macabre or unpleasant and I always try to adapt to the situation. The clients I’ve worked with vary from pure brands like Calvin to flashy brands like Cavalli. And I enjoy that diversity. I enjoy sitting in a room full of embroidery and fur and gold trimmings one day, and then going into a different setting the following day where it’s all about stripping things away. Love is a very positive publication. So on the one hand, it kind of works to go against that and give it another voice, but at the same time, I’m not going in there to paint the walls black. Continue Reading “Back to the Dark Side: Panos Yiapanis on Love and His Creative Evolution” »