+J: Uniqlo and Jil Sander

This olive slim fit jacket is an unmitigated example of what high-end designers should be doing to mainstream fashion. It comes as no surprise that Uniqlo has been, and will continue to, bring this credo to practice as the Jil Sander collaboration is set to become a long-lasting component of the leading clothing and retail chain.

It’s no unique concept, we’ve seen Michael Graves do it for Target and Sonia Rykiel do it for H&M. Yet there’s a finesse or perhaps element, yet to be mastered at these retail giants. Sure, the product has the designer’s vision, but the translation, in a lot of instances doesn’t seem quite as stunning as the idea of it all. Perhaps it’s a result of cost (certain materials and textiles are substituted to keep price points down) and craft (made in China vs. Italy). Nonetheless, for Uniqlo, Jil Sander has managed to create something as beautiful as the vision itself. The silhouettes of her pieces, the fabric, and colors are extremely up-market in their emanation, yet are a lot more affordable than anything sold by anyone else of the designer’s caliber. What’s great about this collaboration is it allowed for a Jil Sander introduction that’s deferential. I’ve personally never been too familiar with the designer’s aesthetic. I knew her pieces were typically androgynous, with a strong sense of geometric architecture and utilitarianism. The fabric always seemed to have some sort of sheen to it, which alluded to a persnickety attitude towards textiles and selecting them. And that isn’t a bad thing at all.

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