NEWS / BRANDS / LAUNCHES / Q&A / UNIQLO x LEMAIRE AW15
Japanese über retailer UNIQLO and French niche apparel label LEMAIRE have teamed up to offer timeless elegance to everyday essentials made of the most carefully selected materials. The collection brings a sense of refined, yet friendly confidence to everyday pieces. As Uniqlo put it, “This is LifeWear elevated with style that fully respects the individual.”
Lemaire is a headed up by former Creative Director of Hermès, Christophe Lemaire. The brand presents collections designed for everyday life with attentive details influenced by the cosmopolitan streets of present day and yesteryear Paris. Lemaire is highly regarded in Europe and continues to gain critical acclaim around the world for its sophisticated style. The Lemaire aesthetic is simple with a luxurious twist, drawing reference from Savile Row’s affinity with cashmere, which forms part of the collection, which drops in stores and online in October 2015.
Q&A : LEMAIRE
| 1. | WHAT IS UNIQLO TO YOU?
Christophe Lemaire: Uniqlo is daily, democratic and contemporary. The product is the heart of the brand. Uniqlo is defined by its LifeWear tag line – it is Made For All, in the most literal sense. Uniqlo is inspired by life, not fashion.
| 2. | YOU HAVE CONFIDED THAT YOU DREAMED OF WORKING WITH UNIQLO. WHY?
CL: Our philosophy is close to Uniqlo’s. Uniqlo designs quality garments for everyday life. Uniqlo is not trend-driven. Everything is about the product and technological innovations. Their philosophy is strong and modern.
| 3. | HOW LEMAIRE’S COLLECTION IS KEEPING WITH UNIQLO’S LIFEWEAR CONCEPT AND NOVEL APPROACH TO APPAREL, OFFERING HIGH QUALITY, COMFORTABLE CLOTHING THAT TRANSCENDS AGE AND STYLE, WHICH ANYONE IN THE WORLD CAN WEAR, AT A REASONABLE PRICE?
CL: We believe that Lemaire’s journey beyond the frontlines of fashion to focus on the wearer is completely in keeping with the LifeWear concept’s commitment to comfort, quality and style aimed at making life better. Every item combines elegance with moderate relaxation and comfort, for modern, advanced wardrobe mainstays.
| 4. | HOW / WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE NAME ‘UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE’ FOR THE COLLABORATION?
CL: The simplicity of the collaboration name UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE reflects Uniqlo and Lemaire’s genuine partnership and common philosophy. The word ‘and’ expresses mutual trust. We really work hand in hand, this is as simple as that.
| 5. | WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE?
CL: The collaboration showcases Uniqlo’s high quality materials and uncompromising focus on quality at the perfect price. The collection balances strength, tranquility and softness to underscore wearer personalities, The volumes and silhouettes offered are intended to be desirable and inspiring.
| 6. | HAVE YOU BEEN INSPIRED BY UNIQLO?
CL: Yes. Uniqlo’s teams and manufacturing are very reactive and modern. It was very interesting to design the collection starting from what Uniqlo does very well: the cashmere, and the merino, which is quality and beautiful, their expertise in knitwear, and the outerwear, which combines lightness and solidity.
| 7. | DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE UNIQLO PRODUCTS?
CL: We do not know anyone close to us who does not have a Uniqlo item in its wardrobe !The ultra light down jacket of course, the supima cotton tee-shirts are great quality. Underwear and socks!
| 8. | WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH THE UNIQLO TEAM SO FAR?
CL: It was very easy to work with the Uniqlo team because we felt there was mutual respect and trust. This is the most important.
| 9. | YOU HAVE YOUR OWN ‘LEMAIRE’ BRAND, AND NOW YOU HAVE ‘UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE’. HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT? IS IT HARD WORKING ON BOTH?
CL: We have to be very organised, and focused. It is quite enriching and constructive.
| 10. | YOU’VE FOCUSED ON LUXURY. IS IT A CHALLENGE WORKING WITH UNIQLO? WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM WORKING WITH LUXURY? WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN WORKING WITH UNIQLO?
CL: Lemaire is not a luxury brand. We try to produce quality garments that will last. In this sense, that is also what Uniqlo is doing. Uniqlo challenges our conscientiousness as designers because we know we will dress many different people across the world. Therefore we have to be very attentive to proportions and style. This is a very interesting exercise. It has to fit everybody ’s lifestyle and morphology without compromising the style.
| 11. | WHAT SORT OF CUSTOMER IS THIS COLLECTION GEARED TOWARDS? WHAT MAKES IT APPEALING TO THEM?
CL: This collection is made for everybody. We think it is accessible and comprehensive. The materials are soft and appealing. The collection focuses on the wearer, making it easier, we hope, for anyone to coordinate items simply and fashionably.
| 12. | THIS COLLABORATION WILL BRING YOUR CLOTHES TO A WIDER GROUP OF CUSTOMERS THAN ANY BEFORE. HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?
CL: It’s an opportunity for us to reach a much broader customer base. We very much like the idea. A lot of people cannot afford Lemaire. This way they can.
| 13.| DESCRIBE THE COLLECTION W ITH 3 WORDS.
CL: Simple, chic, daily.
| 14. | WHAT IS Y OUR FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE UNIQLO AND LEMAIRE AW15 COLLECTION AND WHY?
CL: Every garment has been made with love!
Launches: October 2015
PRODUCT PRICE RANGE