Uniqlo U's Summer Collection Transforms The Essential T-Shirt Into Luxury
“Luxury is very much about what you feel when you wear the clothes,” says Christophe Lemaire, artistic director of Uniqlo's Paris R&D Center. This can mean two things: Comfort, of course, and what that comfort brings.
Comfort is experienced as unfettered movement, the way you can grab a book on the topmost shelf without the seams of your shirt getting caught on your (generous) arms, or a level of protection, as in how a jacket keeps you from dying in your overly cooled corner of the office.
That, in turn, allows you to feel good in your skin. And when you are at ease with yourself, you feel a little taller, walk a little straighter, and maybe become a bit braver—ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you, from a sudden pile-up at work to an impromptu date.
This has always been how the Japanese mega-retailer has approached clothes. The shirt, the pants, the pair of underwear all simply have to work and then, in their wondrous utility, offer you something more.
Uniqlo U, the special collection under Lemaire, pushes this approach of creating a wardrobe for life (LifeWear is how they call it) even further by improving design, pattern, fabrics, and construction. You'll know that a lot has gone under the hood of the clothes when you wear them, as they're made with weather-protecting technologies or techniques that just make them feel good on the skin.
Then, they add a dash of style, a critical element that makes the clothes of U both timeless and timely. For spring/ summer 2018, the Paris team was inspired by “this very summery optimistic vibe,” so that the clothes are drenched in colors that evoke where we all want to be—amid the blues of the ocean and the sky above, on the greens of a forest or field, and near the fire of a sunset.
We're going ahead and say that the T-shirts, essential and stylish, are the heroes in the new set, not only because they are most appropriate for our tropical weather, but because they just look so damn good.
Observe: The short-sleeve sweatshirt is a must in gray, a muted pink, and a rusty yellow (just get it in all colors), while a color block T-shirt with its arm cuffs tipped in a highlight hue recalls the shape of a football jersey.
A black tee with boxy white stripes delivers a graphic punch and, for those who are knee-deep in '90s style, there is the skate-and-surf-inspired version in the requisite yellow-and-brown combo.
If you're feeling extra happy, we also suggest wearing a shirt in a rainbow of colors. It reminds us of a popsicle.
Of course, there is a complete array of clothing, from cotton-cashmere cardigans to camp-collar shirts, wide-fit pants and even rucksacks. But you'll find yourself reaching for these roomy, easy T-shirts the most, because they let you move, jump, spin, or run around freely and, also important, make you look good while doing all these things.
And, really, that's all we want from our clothes.
Check out the Lemaire's full interview below.
Uniqlo U spring/ summer 2018 collection hits stores on January 26, 2018. For more information, visit the Uniqlo U website.