For the upcoming fall season, Uniqlo looks to Parisian brand Lemaire, for the fashion-giant’s next collaboration. Whether it is with style-icon and pop star Pharrell Williams, or esteemed designer Jil Sander, Uniqlo always manages to bring an extra level of excitement to its collaborations. For this season, they look to the well-respected European brand Lemaire to add its timeless elegance to the everyday essentials Uniqlo is known and loved for.
Lemaire creatives, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran, answer a few questions below on Uniqlo, their collaboration, and the challenges and opportunities of working with a bigger brand.
WHAT IS UNIQLO TO YOU?
Uniqlo is defined by its LifeWear tag line - it is Made For All, in the most literal sense. Uniqlo is daily, democratic and contemporary. The product is the heart of the brand. Uniqlo is inspired by life, not fashion.
YOU HAVE CONFIDED THAT YOU DREAMED OF WORKING WITH UNIQLO. WHY?
Our philosophy is close to Uniqlo’s. Uniqlo designs quality garments for everyday life. Uniqlo is not trend-driven. Everything is about the product and technological innovations. Their philosophy is strong and modern.
HOW IS LEMAIRE’S COLLECTION KEEPING WITH UNIQLO’S LIFEWEAR CONCEPT AND NOVEL APPROACH TO APPAREL, OFFERING HIGH QUALITY, COMFORTABLE CLOTHING THAT TRANSCENDS AGE AND STYLE, WHICH ANYONE IN THE WORLD CAN WEAR, AT A REASONABLE PRICE?
We believe that Lemaire’s journey beyond the frontlines of fashion to focus on the wearer, is completely in keeping with the LifeWear concept’s commitment to comfort, quality and style aimed at making life better. Every item combines elegance with moderate relaxation and comfort, for modern, advanced wardrobe mainstays.
HOW / WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE NAME ‘UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE’ FOR THE COLLABORATION?
The simplicity of the collaboration name UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE reflects Uniqlo and Lemaire’s genuine partnership and common philosophy. The word ‘and’ expresses mutual trust. We really work hand in hand, this is as simple as that.
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE?
The collaboration showcases Uniqlo’s high quality materials and uncompromising focus on quality at the perfect price. The collection balances strength, tranquility and softness to underscore wearer personalities, The volumes and silhouettes offered are intended to be desirable and inspiring.
HAVE YOU BEEN INSPIRED BY UNIQLO?
Yes. Uniqlo’s teams and manufacturing are very reactive and modern. It was very interesting to design the collection starting from what Uniqlo does very well: the cashmere, and the merino, which is quality and beautiful, their expertise in knitwear, and the outerwear, which combines lightness and solidity.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH THE UNIQLO TEAM SO FAR?
It was very easy to work with the Uniqlo team because we felt there was mutual respect and trust. This is the most important.
YOU’VE FOCUSED ON LUXURY. IS IT A CHALLENGE WORKING WITH UNIQLO? WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM WORKING WITH LUXURY? WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN WORKING WITH UNIQLO?
Lemaire is not a luxury brand. We try to do qualitative garments that will last. In this sense, that is also what Uniqlo is doing. Uniqlo challenges our conscientiousness as designers because we know we will dress many different people across the world. Therefore we have to be very attentive to proportions and style. It has to fit everybody’s lifestyle and morphology without compromising the style. This is a very interesting exercise.
WHAT SORT OF CUSTOMER IS THIS COLLECTION GEARED TOWARDS? WHAT MAKES IT APPEALING TO THEM?
This collection is made for everybody. We think it is accessible and comprehensive. The materials are soft and appealing. The collection focuses on the wearer, making it easy, we hope, for anyone to coordinate items simply and fashionably.
THIS COLLABORATION WILL BRING YOUR CLOTHES TO A WIDER GROUP OF CUSTOMERS THAN ANY BEFORE. HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?
We very much like the idea. Many people cannot afford Lemaire. It is a great opportunity for us to reach a much broader customer base.