When Uniqlo announced that its next designer collaboration would be with the French master of understated elegance and structural silhouettes, the fashion world was agog with excitement and anticipatory shopping frenzy. The Autumn of 2015 would be one to look forward to and start saving money for. At the start of Paris Couture Week, Lemaire and his co-creative director Sarah-Linh Tran, held a showroom in Paris to unveil the capsule collection to the press, comprising 30 items for women and 25 for men. Christophe Lemaire is currently at the helm of his own successful eponymous label and was previously the celebrated creative director of Hermès for five years, before he decided to bow out in order to focus on his own brand.
The inspiration behind the collection was said to be loungewear, with Lemaire focusing on comfortable and elegant separates meant to take one from day to night. Expect slouchy long-sleeved t-shirts, ribbed woolen jumpers and Lemaire's signature oversized coats in navy, black, cream and khaki. “We referred to it as the ‘in-and-out’ project, meaning the idea of clothes that are both comfortable and elegant,” Lemaire said to WWD.
Lemaire and Uniqlo seem both intent on keeping the collaboration going for other seasons if this first one proves to be a success in the stores. It is more than a mere capsule collection, the idea being for both parties that the project is a fully fledged collaboration under the umbrella of Uniqlo and Lemaire as a merged label. Yukihiro Katsuta, Senior Vice President of Global Research and Design at Uniqlo did express his desire to see the collaboration stretch out beyond this first drop. It is doubtful the collection won't be picked up by clients and the press as Lemaire and Uniqlo do share similar aesthetics for clean lines with an accent on quality and comfort.
"Our philosophy is close to Uniqlo's," Lemaire explained. "Uniqlo designs quality garments for everyday life. It is not trend-driven. Everything is about the product and technological innovations. Their philosophy is strong and modern."
The collection also boasts a very appealing price range starting from around £15 up to £170 approximately and will reach Uniqlo stores worldwide in October.