Uniqlo's Lifewear presentation in Paris
Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo have cornered the high street market for innovation and creating wardrobe pillars with integrity – like their well-priced cashmere or constantly-selling-out Ultra-Stretch jeans. So when Grazia was invited onto a mysteriously cryptic Paris day-trip to discover the brand’s Lifewear concept, we were on that Eurostar faster than you can say 'flannel shirt'.
Styled by Nicola Formichetti and the floral headgear was created by Japanese hair stylist Mr Kawa
Upon arrival in a bright factory-style space we were greeted by a strong 100+ army of Uniqlo mannequins – all styled to perfection by fashion’s favourite darling and the brand’s Style Director, Nicola Formichetti. The displays were separated into 11 different ‘projects’, ranging from denim collections through to lightweight down jackets and print collaborations. Each of these sections come together to create Lifewear. It’s not about constantly launches wildly different new trends, instead Uniqlo are quite wisely emphasising their signature parts, improving them, offering more options and proving just why – if it’s a silk blouse (the silk collection is new on their agenda for luxury) or a genuinely stylish fleece you need - they’re the go-to.
Uniqlo's latest print collab with Sweden's 10 Gruppen
Design Director Yuki Katsuta told us, “We aimed to provide all of our clothes to everybody. We believe each single person should have must have their individual taste and style and wishes, and at the end of the day they have the right to coordinate for themselves and to show themselves. So you have Uniqlo for day and night, 24 hour, 7 day.”
Celia Birtwell's second Uniqlo collaboration and the flannel shirt brigade
That means you can choose to fill those days and hours with one of the two print-tastic collaborations for the coming season – the second drop from English designer Celia Birtwell made up of silk dresses, blouses and headscarves will land in July or you may fancy the bolder poptastic graphic-print fest from Scandi pattern masters 10 Gruppen. Or you can hit Uniqlo for a pair of the genius stretch jeans which have 90% elastic memory and do wonders for your thighs... but maybe you’ll head there again when the temperatures (inevitably) drop in order to pick up some of their ingenious thermalwear. “It is actually my favourite out of all of the projects,“ says Creative Director Naoki Takizawa of the patented technology behind Uniqlo’s HeatTech range. “Normally when we present HeatTech I show it layered up and with outerwear, but this time I’ve left it by itself. I think because it’s such a strong idea it has a kind of beauty.” And that’s exactly it – simple items, made beautifully, with all of us in mind. Thanks Uniqlo!