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The Next Uniqlo Collab Might Surprise You

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    Photo: Alasdair McLellan, courtesy of Uniqlo.


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    UPDATE: Uniqlo has released flat images of the collection on their website and we've added them here. This post was originally published on July 7th, 2015.

    Home of the best basics for modern wardrobes, Japanese retailer Uniqlo has played Devil's Advocate for unlikely collaborations for some time now. With a little Google exploring, you'll run into these now fast-fashion artifacts from today's big-time names like Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Suno, et al. But its latest mashup with Christophe Lemaire has us excited for what's primed to be their chicest partnership yet.

    To provide some background, Lemaire, the designer's namesake brand, only launched in spring 2011, meaning Christophe is just a handful of collections in after stints at Hermès and Lacoste. His eponymous label is known for streamlined, luxury basics, and he's garnered a 240% increase in e-commerce sales alone. His fresh perspective and seemingly endless ideas will marry well with Uniqlo. Not to mention both he and the brand share an equally minimal aesthetic.

    In a press release, Lemaire admits to being inspired by Uniqlo, recognizing how similar the two brands are despite the price points: "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."

    He went on to say the brands also share a singular, democratic vision: "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." While we may not totally agree that Lemaire isn't a luxury label (something as clean as a cotton skirt can set you back $400), we're sure this will take Uniqlo's reputation to another level, and Lemaire's brand to a wider audience.

    This collaboration, however, will cost anywhere between $24.90 and $169.90, with prices subject to change upon debut. Stay tuned and be sure to treat your closet to a new crop of high-quality knits in October later this year, when the collection launches in stores and online. This will also be alongside yet another one of the brand's Designer Invitation rarities with French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld.

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  2. Photo: Alasdair McLellan, courtesy of Uniqlo.


  3. Photo: Alasdair McLellan, courtesy of Uniqlo.


  4. Photo: Alasdair McLellan, courtesy of Uniqlo.


  5. Photo: Alasdair McLellan, courtesy of Uniqlo.