While many mass-market retailers are busy recruiting buzzy runway stars for designer collaborations, UNIQLO has always taken a unique approach to brand partnerships. In the past, the Japanese company has partnered with everyone from smaller labels like Suno to cult favorites like British textile designer Celia Birtwell to even New York's Museum of Modern Art. Chalk it up to the wild prints or the interesting, second-glance-worthy silhouettes, but each of UNIQLO's collabs has a decidedly global bent. Now the brand is teaming up with the fashion designer and blogger Hana Tajima on a collection that aspires to be both problem-solving and stylish.
Having converted to Islam at age 17, the U.K.-born Tajima is part of a rising group of young Muslim women for whom spirituality is directly related to their personal style. Her fans already know about this news via her blog, but the Hana Tajima LifeWear Collection for UNIQLO brings cool, modest (definitely not an oxymoron) clothing to the masses. From pleated skirts to trousers and long dresses, each of these pieces offers full coverage without being stuffy. Thanks to details like strategically-placed drapes and cut-outs, they look like they're layered — but in reality, there's only one garment, which allows for breathable head-to-toe dressing. In addition to items like high-waisted pants, the collection includes traditional pieces like the hijab and kebaya (a blouse-dress combination, worn in Southeast Asia and Indonesia). And, keeping in line with Tajima's —and other Muslim women's — creative spirits, the hijabs come in various prints, dip dye-fabrics, and breathable materials. Although UNIQLO isn't the first brand to cater to this oft-ignored demographic, it's arguably the biggest in scale. The collection is only available to buy in select Singapore locations and online beginning July 3. In the meantime, get a sneak peek at the clothing (modeled by the singer Yuna) here.