Uniqlo and J.W. Anderson have teamed up on another collection. In this interview they speak about the collaboration and the new designs
It’s time! The collaboration between Uniqlo and J.W. Anderson is going into its second round on April 19th. At the beginning of the year, hey woman! traveled to Brighton – a place with a decisive influence on the current collection – where we were able to take a look at the new garments presented in fascinating settings (like the Royal Pavilion) and also had the opportunity to interview representatives from Uniqlo as well as the industry’s charming prodigy himself.
What was the main inspiration for this collection?
J.W. Anderson: The great British summer. I wanted something that was an actual summer version of the last collection. I had all these images of people at Brighton beach with ice cream. I wanted something that was kind of “feel-good.” Crafted garments, worn and washed – and then you have a second with you, because it generally rains in Britain so it’s good to have a backup.
Do you have a favorite piece in the whole collection?
J.W. Anderson: There are several I am obsessed by. There is a jacket which is very quintessentially British, but also very quintessentially Japanese. It is something that could work anywhere in the world.
Uniqlo: It’s also like a continuation of the first collection, when you see the stripes or some of the details. It fits perfectly and you can wear the pieces all together.
J.W. Anderson: If you bought something from the first collection, you can mix them up.
How did the collaboration with Uniqlo come about?
Uniqlo: We’ve been watching his career for a long time, and seeing all of the things he was doing, not just with fashion, but also outside of fashion with culture and really pushing things – particularly in London. And that is essentially how we came about working together.
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When was the first time you came across Uniqlo and what was your impression? Was there a particular piece you remember?
J.W. Anderson: I think I noticed Uniqlo when it first opened in London. I don’t know what happened, but I went in and there was a navy sweater. I’ve always worn navy sweaters since I was a kid – I think I bought six of them. Then I started buying white t-shirts, then I started buying socks, then I started buying underwear. I like the idea of a uniform. I think I create fashion for people and it’s not really for me. It’s not that I don’t want to wear it, but more that I want to give the best that I can.
What Uniqlo collaboration have you admired the most?
J.W. Anderson: I think the collaboration with Jil Sander in 2006. That’s probably a milestone in collaborations.
Do the collaborations at Uniqlo happen on a regular basis?
Uniqlo: I would say so. It is not very formulaic: It’s based on what we see in culture and who we feel an affinity for. If that happens, we work together – but its not like we have a schedule.
Are certain collaborations only accessible to people in certain areas of the world?
Uniqlo: It is part of our philosophy that the collaborations are available to everyone, that they’re not limited in quantity or in where you can buy them: Basically, you can always buy online. But you know Uniqlo is in 19 countries, so the collection is going to be available in 19 countries.
What is specific to the German consumer?
Uniqlo: I think people in Germany are value-driven, interested in local brands, brands that they know. I think quality is the driving force.
J.W. Anderson: And I think the word is “understated.” You like a garment when you look at it and you think it looks fantastic – and then it’s cashmere, and you buy it once. And I can see that Uniqlo must work quite well in terms of that. I think there’s something in Japan and in Germany about this idea of perfection, making something really well and then protecting it.
I know that with J.W. Anderson, because in Germany they regularly pick the best bits. They want something that is understated – but still representative.
How would you describe the collection?
J.W. Anderson: Femme, quintessential, crafted, washed: I think it’s very J.W. Anderson this time. You have the ruffles…and the cuts. I love this. I found this amazing.
Is there going to be a third collection?
J.W. Anderson: We never know. You have to deal with this one first. In the present. (laughs)
The second collaboration between Uniqlo and J.W. Anderson will be available in all Uniqlo stores and online on April 19th. For a first impression of the collaboration visit Uniqlo’s Instagram account (@uniqlo_de) here.