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Jil Sander Adds Shot of Color to +J Line

Jil Sander spring-summer +J collection begins hitting select Uniqlo stores across Japan and other Asian countries today.

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TOKYO — Uniqlo unveiled a preview on Tuesday of its spring-summer +J collection, designed by Jil Sander.

This story first appeared in the December 23, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The collection, which includes about 60 pieces for women and 60 for men, will go on sale on three launch dates this month, in mid-March and in April. (Only the first two dates apply to the men’s collection.) The first merchandise will hit select Uniqlo stores across Japan and other Asian countries today.

Sander was closely involved in the conception of the line from start to finish, even carefully instructing a renowned Italian mill on the exact specifications of the fabrics she wanted.

A large percentage of the collection is made of tech-satin, a soft blend of cotton and a synthetic fiber, such as polyester. Design themes include “iconic simplicity,” “natural nobility” and “clarity and lightness.”

The collection differs from Sander’s first +J collection, released this fall to throngs of shoppers who lined up for wool coats, jackets, cashmere sweaters and other pieces, in its wide use of color, such as pastel blue and lilac, olive, and warm ivory. Styles include a shiny polyester stand collar women’s coat for 14,900 yen, or $164.45 at current exchange, women’s and men’s shirts for 3,990 yen, or $44.04, and a basic women’s blazer for 9,990 yen, or $108.82.

Uniqlo is banking on the Sander collaboration to “open the future” for the Japanese brand, the chain’s founder, Tadashi Yanai, said earlier this year.

Although the designer is concentrating on her +J collection, her deal with Uniqlo will eventually expand to other areas of the company.

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