Good morning and oh, happy day! Over in the land of the rising sun, Japan, Uniqlo held a monumental press conference to announce the be-all, end-all of high-low collaboration news: Jil Sander herself is on the cusp of signing up to design for Uniqlo, with a hand in all of the store's departments and a capsule collection of her very own. It's pretty much a done deal already, as this conference and Jil's appearance at textile fairs have come to conclude.
Now, we all know that Uniqlo can successfully hold its own in the fashion world, having previously hosted capsule collections from the likes of Alexander Wang, Loden Dager, Philip Lim, Alice Roi and Juliana Jabour. On the other hand, Jil Sander is some serious stuff, and we have no doubt that her minimalist aesthetic will mesh famously with Uniqlo's own brand of basic.
To herald the occasion, WWD has a brilliant article on Jil, her namesake company, motives for this move, and Japan's place in the current recession. Find our favorite excepts after the jump.
Although Sander will not receive an official title at the company, the designer will take over the creative reins for all the retailer’s products excluding accessories and children’s wear, the source said. It is understood the Japanese brand and Sander are also working to develop a special Uniqlo collection, bearing the designer’s minimalist look, set to bow for the fall season.
While Uniqlo has collaborated with a number of designers such as Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang and Alice Roi through its Designers Invitation Project, this is the first time the company has established a continuous relationship with a marquee name. The company’s design team has lived a relatively anonymous existence churning out colorful basics. Like Sander, Uniqlo has always put a strong emphasis on fabric innovation in its products, such as machine-washable sweaters that keep their shape and hooded sweatshirts that retain heat.
Uniqlo is one of the few retailers succeeding in recessionary Japan.
That about sums it up for now, but you can be sure that we'll be riding the wave of news on this; the taste of affordable Jil Sander is already on our lips.