PARIS — Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.’s Uniqlo is upping the fashion quotient for spring, revealing the product of its first collaborations with Inès de la Fressange and Nigo alongside the presentation of its main spring collections here on Wednesday.
Uniqlo design director Naoki Takizawa was inspired to contact de la Fressange when he saw a photo of the French fashion icon and former model sporting Uniqlo designs, he explained at an exclusive preview of the collections.
The pair met last May and closely collaborated on the collection, much of which has a vintage French feel. “I wanted to make the clothes in her wardrobe,” Takizawa explained, adding that the two got together at de la Fressange’s Parisian home, where she would go and take pieces out of her closet for inspiration.
“It’s amazing the ‘kawaii’ taste that she brings,” he added, using the Japanese word for “cute.”
The collaboration is timely for de la Fressange, who has come back to her namesake brand and is in the process of relaunching it after the label was bought by a consortium led by Calao Finance earlier this year.
“[The Uniqlo collection] is very important because we don’t yet have a licensee to do clothes,” de la Fressange explained. “There will be, but it takes a long time. This is a great way to have an immediate worldwide presence.”
She continued, “Everything can be mixed together. All kinds of women from all countries can wear it.”
When the collection begins hitting Uniqlo stores worldwide next March, new lines of scarves, jewelry, loungewear, glasses and stationery under the core Inès de la Fressange brand will already be available, said Fabrice Boé, chief executive officer of IDLF, the new holding company for the brand.
While prices for the Uniqlo line will be on a par with the retailer’s core collections, Boé is not worried that this will water down the label’s message.
“I think people today understand that there is a difference between a collection that is stocked by a retailer for a certain time and the permanent collection. The products are different, as is their level of sophistication,” he explained.
To the point, part of the conviction behind de la Fressange’s involvement is her belief that being able to mix designer pieces and mass-market designs is what makes fashion tick today.
“It’s all about what we desire and what we want to wear,” she explained.
“In 2014, luxury style and brand distribution can go together,” she added, saying that she herself often shops at Uniqlo and was surprised by the quality of the fabrics used for her namesake line.
“I hope I will get a discount card now with all the work I have done on this,” she exclaimed.
De la Fressange described working with Takizawa, an Issey Miyake alum, as a meeting of minds, as they both initially came from the luxury world.
The Inès de la Fressange Paris Uniqlo collection will be stocked in all Uniqlo stores worldwide, a change from an initial plan to only carry it in larger outlets. Smaller stores will have a selection of the products, while larger sales points will carry the full collection of 70 items.
Uniqlo has also enlisted Nigo, the founder of street label A Bathing Ape and producer of hip hop group Teriyaki Boyz, as the first creative director of its UT line of T-shirts. His first designs for the retailer have a distinct pop culture theme, and include vintage images of classic characters like Snoopy and Gizmo or Coca-Cola logos, for example.
Takizawa is adamant that such collaborations do not signal a change in direction for the retailer, as witnessed by the breadth of its own collection, dubbed LifeWear, to which Uniqlo has added items including smart stretch fabric pants for spring and a wider range of polo shirts in about 300 different designs.
“We pick up some trends and some feelings, but we have to have what people need in their closet from morning to night,” he explained.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)