32 posts tagged "Uniqlo"
Everyone knows that if you want to up your “cool” factor, you bring in Olivier Zahm. This strategy was not lost on UNIQLO, who appointed the Purple Diary editor as visual director for its newest campaign. Lensed by art-world darling Ryan McGinley, the ads spotlight the brand’s significantly broadened silk and cashmere range (think 330 colorways and patterns for him and her), which is available from today in stores and online. Chloë Sevigny, Lily Donaldson, and McGinley himself don UNIQLO’s latest wares while posing against simple pastel backgrounds—a visual approach that Zahm felt would convey both the simplicity and sensuality of the materials. Catch the ads’ debut here, exclusively on Style.com.
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.
At most of the major fashion conglomerates, each brand operates as its own fiercely independent fiefdom—you’d hardly expect Louis Vuitton and Fendi to join forces on a bag, though they happen to be corporate siblings at LVMH. But at Theory, Andrew Rosen is working a different angle. Rosen’s Theory is owned by Japan’s Fast Retailing, which also owns Uniqlo, among others; and now, with a new capsule collection of down jackets and vests, Rosen is bringing Theory and Uniqlo together. T down, as the collection is known, draws on the design sensibility of the former and the production expertise of the latter to gin up some of the sharpest jackets we’ve seen this (early) winter. And because of Uniqlo’s manufacturing capabilities, they’re both super affordable (topping out at $149 for a hooded jacket, nearly unheard of for down) and available for men, women, kids, and baby. The women’s styles and campaign debut exclusively here on Style.com. They’ll be in Uniqlo and Theory stores and Theory.com—though presumably not for long—on November 15. Could this kick off a trend for intragroup collaborations fashion-world-wide? It’s not especially likely, but it’s a warming thought.
Roger Vivier And Uniqlo Are California-Bound, Tommy’s Tips, Nicole Kidman To Take On Princess Grace Role, And More…
French brand Roger Vivier has announced plans to open its third shop in the States. The latest space, which will house the label’s footwear and accessories as well as the limited-edition Rendez-Vous line, will be in Costa Mesa (the other two U.S. stores are in New York City and Miami).[WWD]
Uniqlo is also set to head west—this morning the retailer revealed that San Francisco is the site of its newest location. The flagship shop is the brands’ first U.S. location outside of New York and is set to open in the fall of 2012. [Uniqlo]
Tommy Ton shares his favorite e-tail picks with Shop Ghost, a new curated shopping site from Oyster contributing editor Stevie Dance. He also sounds off on a few wishes for the future of street style: more eyeglasses, more designers, more older-season items, and more babies. JakAndJil hopefuls, take note. [Shop Ghost]
Nicole Kidman is rumored to have won the role of Princess Grace for the new Olivier Dahan-directed film Grace of Monaco. Negotiations for the film, which will cost a projected $30 million to produce, are reportedly still being finalized. [Vogue U.K.]
Absolutely Fabulous has recruited Kate Moss to star in a spin-off episode of the show. Moss will be joined by Stella McCartney, who outfitted the supermodel at her London showcase of her eveningwear last month. The episode’s plot is expected to revolve around the 2012 London Olympics. [Vogue U.K.]
Selfridges is continuing to up its digital game. After unveiling its revamped womenswear department at the end of last year, the department store has just released short videos from Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, and Comme des Garçons to screen alongside their merchandise. The films explain inspirations and references but are tied by the common thread of a “strong female character at the center of each film,” the store’s creative director explains. [Independent]
Uniqlo CEO Shin Odake has revealed plans to increase the Japanese retailer’s stateside presence in shopping malls. While major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago are also important targets, Odake tells Racked that “in order to expand in the U.S., we also need to open successful mall locations throughout.” Uniqlo’s anticipated collaboration with Undercover designer Jun Takahashi hits stores tomorrow. [Racked]
A Lane Crawford customer is seeking 50,000 Hong Kong dollars, plus two Chanel bags, as compensation for allegedly being locked in the store’s VIP room for over 90 minutes. The customer had returned to the department store after noticing defects on a recently purchased Chanel handbag. [WWD]