PARIS — Uniqlo’s Paris flagship, due to open Thursday, bears the hallmark of Japanese high-tech, with pivoting mannequins, television monitors and floor-to-ceiling stacks of multicolored cashmere.
But the highlight of the Japanese retailer’s first foray into continental Europe is set to be the much-anticipated minimalist collection designed by Jil Sander. Although the German designer’s name is absent from the clothes, which bear a simple white label reading “+J,” Sander’s trademark minimalist lines, dark colors and streamlined cut are instantly recognizable.
The collaboration with Uniqlo has resulted in around 100 pieces for the women’s wear collection and around 40 for the men’s wear line, starting at 19.90 euros, or $29.24 at current exchange rates, for a T-shirt and rising to 149.90, or $220.30, for coats and cashmere knits.
Sander has devised similar looks for both women and men, with variations on military-inspired jackets and coats, black and gray sweaters, streamlined white cotton shirts and dark indigo jeans.
“Jil Sander is the only person who can put design, quality and comfort into clothes,” said Yukihiro Katsuta, president of Uniqlo’s design studio in New York, during a press conference in Paris.
Accordingly, the price tags of the +J collection items spell out the philosophy behind the line: “Luxury will be simplicity. Purity in design, beauty and comfort for all. Quality for the people. Basics are the common language. The future is here: +J.”
The collection has been prominently displayed near the entrance of the store and is hung on wooden clothes hangers that bear the +J logo, to differentiate the line from other Uniqlo products.
The collection is accompanied by a special black-and-white advertising campaign and catalogue shot by David Sims.
Uniqlo is banking on the Sander collaboration, which marks the return of the German designer to the fashion world after a five-year hiatus, as a springboard to expand internationally.
The retailer plans to open 100 to 200 stores a year outside Japan, as part of a plan of its parent company, Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., to grow sales from the 682 billion yen, or $7 billion at average exchange, forecast for the year ended Aug. 31 to 5 trillion yen, or about $54 billion, by 2020.
The 23,000-square-foot flagship, which faces one side of the Paris Opera House on Rue Scribe, isn’t Uniqlo’s first foray into the French capital. The retailer first tested the Parisian market with a small store that opened in the Defense financial district in 2007, and then this past summer with a pop-up store in the Marais neighborhood.
“The new store is an important entry into the European market, and Paris is the capital of fashion,” said Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing’s chief executive.
Designed by Japanese architect Masamichi Katayama, the store extends to three levels, including a basement, where the women’s wear collections are displayed. The exterior facade, which dates back to 1866, has been preserved and refurbished, while the interior has been gutted and the roof removed and replaced with a glass ceiling, which lets natural light in.
Adding a high-tech touch, glass cases house 58 pivoting mannequins dressed with Uniqlo’s latest looks, while 33 monitors display the latest advertising campaigns and products.
In marked contrast with the somber-colored +J collection, the Uniqlo-branded products are displayed to convey a multicolored rainbow effect on the walls.
To celebrate the launch of the store, the third flagship after New York and London, Uniqlo is introducing special offers on a number of key products. Multicolored cashmere sweaters will be priced at 49.90 euros, or $73.30, instead of 79.90 euros, or $117.40, while colored denim will specially priced at 9.90 euros, or$14.55.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye