OPENING CEREMONY: Lemaire creative directors Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran unveiled their first collection for Japanese retailer Uniqlo in a showroom presentation held Tuesday to coincide with Paris Couture Week.
Consisting of 30 items for women and 25 for men, the collection will go on sale in early October under the label Uniqlo and Lemaire. Prices range from 19.90 euros, or $22 at current exchange, to 179.90 euros, or $199.
The designers took a building-block approach with timeless separates such as collarless long-sleeved shirts, ribbed merino wool sweaters and oversize coats in a palette dominated by black, navy, khaki and cream.
“A good wardrobe is made of clothes that you can combine 50 different ways,” said Tran, adding that her favorite item was a ribbed tube with a slit in the middle that can be worn as a capelet or as a scarf.
Lemaire, who is partial to a Fifties-style shirt with what he called a “convertible” collar, said the collection was designed in the spirit of loungewear. “We referred to it as the ‘in-and-out’ project, meaning the idea of clothes that are both comfortable and elegant,” he explained.
Among the men’s items is a jacket in a lightweight padded nylon, which marks a departure for the brand in terms of using technical materials. “It’s something we would like to explore further,” said Lemaire, noting that he and Tran are fans of Uniqlo’s HeatTech range.
The designers should have their wish fulfilled. Yukihiro Katsuta, senior vice president of global research and design at Uniqlo, said the idea was for the collaboration to continue beyond next fall.