Uniqlo’s collaborations are always some of the most praised in the industry and, now that the Japanese giant has announced a partnership with J.W. Anderson, we bet things will get even more exciting from now on.
News that Uniqlo was about to enlist iconic fashion designer Jonathan Anderson to design a capsule collection was confirmed yesterday evening, although the rumors had begun spreading around a few weeks before. Ever since a possible collaboration between Uniqlo and J.W. Anderson came into sight, both Uniqlo’s and Anderson’s aficionados began wondering how such contrasting views on fashion could work together to create something pleasantly unique.
It is no secret, in fact, that the Northern Irish designer’s visions on fashion are rather glamorous and gender-defying, while Uniqlo’s are minimalist-chic and geometric. Anderson’s way of tearing apart what one often regards as conventionally feminine or masculine could, however, actually be the perfect match for Uniqlo, as genderless fashion and minimalism are more and more becoming an intertwined fashion concept.
“He is both a connoisseur of tradition and yet he defies tradition… The British tradition of dress — sweaters, trench coats — all of these things are very interesting to us, so how do we take that essential and give it a fresh spin?” Fast Retailing (which is Uniqlo’s parent), president of global creative John C. Jay told the Business of Fashion when asked about J.W. Anderson. “We need help with that, we need someone to develop it. And someone with his eye and his talent, it’s extraordinary.”
According to Jonathan Anderson, the Uniqlo x J.W. Anderson collaboration will also help any wardrobe become more democratic, which is no small feat when talking about high-end fashion designer partnerships.
“Collaborations are incredibly important in design,” Anderson explained to WWD. “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. 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.”
Following in the footsteps of Jil Sander, Inès de la Fressange, and Carine Roitfeld, J.W. Anderson’s collection for Uniqlo will come just in time for the autumnal season, and will be called The Life Wear. The line’s name, which is undeniably evocative, is expected to combine Anderson’s aesthetics with Uniqlo’s appeal for comfort and lightness, with the men’s and women’s wear staples all made of Uniqlo’s standard affordable, yet high quality fabrics. Each item will also function as a sort of single block from which any outfit could be built, as it always happens with any of Uniqlo’s clothing staples.
“Much of the clothing we wear today has a long history, and many styles originated from uniforms or work wear,” Yuki Katsuta, senior vice president of Fast Retailing (Uniqlo’s parent) and head of research and design at Uniqlo, stated. “The British Isles constitute a treasure house of such apparel, with duffle coats and fisherman’s sweaters being just two examples. In partnering with J.W. Anderson, one of Britain’s most innovative and creative brands, we will tap into traditions while pursuing progress in design and fabrics, to craft styles that are enduringly appealing.”
We cannot wait to see the first J.W. Anderson x Uniqlo The Life Wear staples!
Photo courtesy of J.W. Anderson