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A few weeks back we had the opportunity to attend Uniqlo’s fall winter 2017 preview in New York, the first time they’ve had the global preview outside of Japan. Centring on their LifeWear campaign, the preview left us welcoming the idea of again layering up for the fall and winter season, between all the new innovations, collaborations, and technologies, we were treated to a truly immersive Uniqlo experience with no detail left unnoticed.

From shopping at their Soho and Fifth Avenue locations to a visit to their Innovation Centre in the Meatpacking District, to their immersive and interactive exhibition at Spring Studios including a runway presentation directed by Nicola Formichetti, remarks from Uniqlo founder & president Tadashi Yanai, and much more.

We’ve recapped our experience below highlighting the five most exciting parts of their LifeWear campaign for the fall winter season.

COLLABORATIONS

Uniqlo continues to top the game when it comes to collaborations, working with respected fashion brands from the early days including Theory, Opening Ceremony, Carine Roitfeld, and Jil Sander to name just a few. For the fall winter season they’ll continue ongoing partnerships with Ines De La Fressange, Disney, and Hana Tajima, and expand into new territory with JW Anderson.

Continuing for the eighth season, French brand Ines De La Fressange will debut their first long-awaited menswear collection for Uniqlo which will of course feature versatile urban essentials to align with the women’s collection; so you’re in luck if matching with your partner is your thing.

They will also be continuing their collaboration with UK-born fashion designer Hana Tajima with another instalment designed for, but not limited to their Muslim customers. Inspired by sculptural drapes and folds, the collection once again aims to bring modest elegance to every day wear incorporating new textures like tweed and knit.

While few details have been released about the collaboration with the British fashion brand JW Anderson, it’s sure to be well received by the fashion world drawing crowds in each market. What we do know, is the collection will feature pieces for both men and women bringing together the brands British heritage and the everyday comfort and timeless quality Uniqlo is known for.

For the kids, they’re continuing their collaboration with Disney with ‘Magic For All’ taking all the Disney magic around the world, showcasing Micky’s travels from NY to Paris to London to Shanghai to Tokyo.

UNIQLO Denim

A key component for Uniqlo’s LifeWear campaign for the fall winter season is of course denim, which is an essential part of any wardrobe. Uniqlo continues to innovate and further perfect their product in conjunction with their recently established Denim Innovation Center in Los Angeles (arguably the denim capital of the world). There, they continue to fine-tune things like fit, fabric, and finish which are so important for denim, through new technologies and techniques while still honouring the traditions of denim construction.

We had the chance to speak with Uniqlo’s Denim Innovation director, Masaki Matsubara, at the preview to chat about how Uniqlo denim stacks up to a luxury denim product.

“Right now, I’d say Uniqlo is best. We go into details and quality control, because we care.”

That’s good news for most of us used to paying more than five times as much as a Uniqlo product for a high-end denim product! Also expect to see a new HEATTECH denim to keep you warm in the fall winter months along with a new skinny fit denim, which Matsubara says are, “not like ultra stretch jeans, but a more authentic look, that looks like denim, with a skinny fit.”

KNITS

Always an integral part of any fall wardrobe, knits are essential for Uniqlo’s LifeWear campaign in the colder months as they introduce seemless 3D U-Knits. Constantly producing quality merino, cashmere and lambs wool knits at an attainable price point, you’re going to want to layer up in these elegant yet timeless pieces. For fall winter they’re continuing to wor with Shima Seiki Manufacturing, a knitting machine production technology leader from Japan, sourcing rare wools to ensure the most advanced technologies in the spinning, knitting, dyeing, and the finishing of each product.

Uniqlo U

The Uniqlo U collection is set to return for the third season this fall winter and we couldn’t be more jazzed about it. Designed at Uniqlo’s Paris Research & Development Centre, Christophe Lemaire and his international design team bring a refined approach to progressive essentials, utilizing advanced materials and textiles, shown through experimental, yet wearable silhouettes and colour palettes. The collection will feature both mens and womenswear including outerwear and a newly expanded range of knits for the season.

We had a chance to chat with Shu Hung, Uniqlo’s Global Creative Director in charge of Special Projects and Brand Experience at the preview, about the collection and how it has evolved up to this point.

“There’s a lot of [Christophe Lemaire’s] current and past experience as a fashion designer infused into Uniqlo U, but I think what’s really exciting, is they’ve been taking a lot more of internal Uniqlo proprietary materials and experimenting with them.”

For fall they’ve swapped workwear for softer, longer knits and oversized silhouettes, instead of more tailored fitting pieces, using innovative technologies to create more stylish silhouettes that remain both accessible yet timeless.

“Uniqlo U can add this little bit of edge or a different point of view to some of the things that we’re making… You could throw one of the oversized coats on and the look changes, giving you this option of bringing in a little more edge and experimentation to the look.”

HEATTECH

Okay, so we’re no stranger to HEATTECH as Canadians, heck Uniqlo has sold over 1 billion pieces of to date, and there’s a reason. It’s the best possible under layer to keep you warm and comfy all winter long and this fall they’ll continue to expand their range of offerings (YAY!).

Incase you’re unfamiliar, this thin but warm layer is the reason we survive the fall and winter seasons in Toronto. Coming in three levels of warmth, standard, extra warm, and ultra warm, HEATTECH was specially designed in partnership with Toray Industries, Inc., a Japanese fiber and textile manufacturer, using four types of yarns that absorb the body’s moisture and convert it into heat trapped inside air pockets inside these ingenious fibers.

Do yourself a favour this fall and get into some HEATTECH.