TOKYO — Uniqlo said Tuesday that it has tapped French fashion brand Lemaire to design a special men’s and women’s collection.
This story first appeared in the March 4, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Japanese fast-fashion giant said the new collection would launch for fall. A Uniqlo spokesman said the results of the debut collection will determine whether the collaboration will continue for future seasons. He declined to release further details on the partnership.
“Lemaire’s approach to design respects individuality and merges perfectly with the Uniqlo LifeWear philosophy, aimed at making life better,” said Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company.
Lemaire designers Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran said they have always dreamed of working with Uniqlo.
“Uniqlo designs qualitative and made-for-all garments for everyday life. It is also our approach to fashion and the philosophy of Lemaire,” the designers said.
Operating under the brand name Lemaire and with a new logo since January, designers Lemaire and Tran recently pressed reboot on the label’s business. The decision to strip Lemaire’s first name from the label reflects the fact that he has been codesigning his collections with Tran, who is primarily responsible for women’s ready-to-wear and the brand’s visual identity, for some time.
In January, the pair presented their first pre-fall collection and launched an e-commerce Web site.
The reorganization of the house, which is also growing its men’s wear offer, coincides with the end of Lemaire’s tenure as artistic director of women’s wear at Hermès. Bastien Daguzan, who joined Lemaire as managing director in October 2013, has revamped the brand’s store network and laid the ground for the launch of the e-commerce site.
Lemaire is carried in 130 points of sale worldwide, having doubled its retailer count over the past year. Accounts include The Line in New York and online retailers matchesfashion.com and Net-a-porter.com.
In December, Lemaire joined the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Masculine.