- Kristopher Fraser |
Apparently H&M will no longer be the only fast-fashion shop in town known for their designer collaborations. Trendy Japanese retailer Uniqlo will be collaborating with former Hermès creative director Christophe Lemaire for a capsule collection that will be debuting this fall. Unlike H&M, however, who has collaborated with the likes of Lanvin, Marni, and most recently Alexander Wang, Uniqlo prefers to do business with lesser known, but equally as luxurious designers.
Aside from their upcoming collaboration with Lemaire, the brand has also collaborated with Pharrell Williams and Ines de la Fressange. While Pharrell is a Grammy-winning artist in the music scene, his fashion prowess does not carry the weight his music prowess does. With collaborations happening left and right nowadays, like Adidas’s current collaboration with Kanye West, Uniqlo had to make sure to get in on their slice of the pie.
For Lemaire, this won’t be his first hand at the Japanese market. In 1990 when he launched his own line it was incredibly well received, and he even credits the Japanese market as the reason his brand was able to maintain its footing and grow into the luxury label it is today. For Lemaire, 2015 is also expected to be the year of growth for his namesake label, but, that hasn’t left him too busy to collaborate with Uniqlo. What better way to start making sure your brand gets all the attention it needs by putting your name out there with a designer collaboration?
Christophe Lemaire to design for Uniqlo
Given Uniqlo’s larger than life presence Lemaire could easily become an overnight sensation after this collection. Uniqlo has over 852 stores in Japan, and another 633 stores internationally, with a strong presence on the West Coast and in New York City, which were both home to some of the brands first U.S. stores. Uniqlo is continuing their expansion, and apparently seems to be earning quite the reputation among the fast-fashion crowd as well, as it is impossible to walk down the streets of Soho or Midtown and not see the usual H&M and Forever 21 shoppers also toting around a Uniqlo shopping bag.
When designers as impressive as Christophe Lemaire are collaborating with you that’s a sign you are doing something right. Prior to leaving Hermès to focus on his namesake label, Lemaire was the Creative Director of Lacoste for nine years. Lemaire is currently working with his partner Sarah-Linh Tran and his Managing Director Bastien Daguzan to try and find an investor to help them grow Lemaire into a global luxury brand according to Business of Fashion. Between the growth of his luxury namesake label and his collaboration with arguably Japan’s most fabulous fast-fashion retailer Lemaire seems to be on the right track to become one of the most talked about designers of 2015, because right now it sure seems good to be Christophe Lemaire.