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Undercover x Uniqlo

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some interesting posts above.

i think something like this is bound to happen, i've always been under the impression that jun's company isn't doing so well judging from his previous few seasons and some rants here and there, financially that is. before the comme and h&m collab, dsm london was a much different retail space back then, did it boost up the sales and reps for comme i say yes, so this is definitely a smart move for jun, cant tell about the rest of the world but uniqlo is everywhere in the uk now,

one thing i like about uniqlo is, like many peeps here i can never complain given what i pay, actually looking forward to the collection.

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I'm looking forward to this. From Jun's quote he stated that he wanted to create some creative pieces, not just to satisfy "business" purposes. I'd be happy with a few well designed, unique pieces, and i can't complain too much because the prices will be CHEAP :). ------- BRING IT.

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I disagree, Sawyer, I think Uniqlo a huge step above Gap and H&M (dunno about Land's End).

personally i have always found uniqlo's quality in relation to price miles ahead of gap and H&M.
no way.

next to h&m? come on now. it's not incredibly quality, but to me it's the best value for what they charge. everything i've bought from them held up quite well over the years and looks good.

i guess i can't argue quality compared to other mass market retailers like h&m or the gap as i haven't really owned any pieces from them for years and years.

But do you guys know anything about the actual production process for Uniqlo's clothes, and where it differs from H&M, Gap, AA, etc? I've posted this in other threads, so apologies if I sound like a broken record:

screenshot20110131.png

sERai.jpg

Those are from FY 2009 and 2010. Source: http://www.fastretailing.com/eng/ir/library/annual.html

All we know for certain about a garment's production is the country it is made and if we're lucky there's some kind of auditing that's obliquely accessible to a consumer. Your clothes are made by children who sew for days without rest. No access to bathrooms. I find everyone's loyalty to Uniqlo breathtaking. Do you know how it is possible to make clothes cheap?

I also don't think that Uniqlo contracts with a special production facility in China or Vietnam that doesn't contract with anyone else.

Let me put it this way: there are only so many garment shops in Vietnam. To my knowledge, none of these shops have an incentive to produce exclusively for one brand or another. IE: One shop might produce for Eddie Bauer, Abercrombie and Fitch, Banana Republic and Hollister. They're making dress shirts, the shop is equipped for that process. Overlap is inevitable. So what you get on the Uniqlo floor are clothes from eight different countries, how can anyone say with certainty what Uniqlo's "quality" is when there are possibly twelve different production sources?

Anecdotes aren't good enough. If anecdotes were good enough, the fact that I've had jeans from H&M last years without repair puts them on the same playing field as Nudie and APC. The textile might be cheap, but that doesn't predict the integrity of the stitching. On the other hand, I've read stories on SZ about buttons falling off of CCP shirts or the sole of a boot coming undone within days or weeks of wear.

I also don't mean to pick on Uniqlo exclusively, nor China or Vietnam. "Made in the US" can mean made in Samoa, Guam or the Marianas. "Made in Italy" might mean this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/world/europe/13prato.html

There is no good reason to give Uniqlo a pass while having a knee-jerk aversion to H&M or Faded Glory. They all have similar pricing, and the ability to produce cheaply comes from the way you treat laborers; your variable costs. Fixed costs such as textiles, dyes or tools are, well, fixed.

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sawyer, good points but I do think that design factors in here and Uniqlo wins out over H&M and Faded Glory here.

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Thanks for posting sawyer. I actually only saw that graphic for the first time recently - one of the reasons (amongst many) I've doubled my efforts to buy ethically produced clothing as far as possible (I know that sounds hippie, but f*** it).

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Jun Takahashi: The Experimental Designer Who Will Replace Jil Sander At Uniqlo

Last week Uniqlo and German designer Jil Sander announced that they would be parting ways, ending a three-year collaboration that, even if it wasn’t a huge money-maker for the Japanese company, boosted its image in the fashion industry. Sander’s sleek, minimalist suits and coats for her Uniqlo line, called J+, were cool and well designed, and they were a steal: Prices ranged from $20 for a T-shirt to $150 for a parka. Her Fall 2011 collection will be the last for the company.

But Uniqlo has announced a new collaborator: Jun Takahashi, the reclusive designer behind the cult label Undercover. In some ways Takahashi is a surprising choice — he’s not exactly a household name outside of Japan, and his clothes veer toward the avant garde (trench coats with tree branches sprouting from their torsos, T-shirts with “sequins” made out of smashed vinyl singles). But Takahashi is Japanese, and he has worked with big commercial companies before — he designs a running line for Nike. Furthermore, he’s one of the most innovative, interesting designers working today.

Takahashi started his own fashion label in 1993, selling ripped-up, deconstructed, shredded and patched leather jackets and T-shirts. He began showing his collections during Paris Fashion Week in 2002. His presentations were conceptual and challenging: For his Spring 2005 collection, his models wore lace slip dresses with fur epaulets and big bouquets of flowers covered their faces like in a Dali painting; he sent out models in straightjacket-like coats and hooded, pierced masks that obscured their vision for his Fall 2006 show; even his relatively straightforward Spring 2009 collection, filled with cute, ruffled A-line dresses and sweet organza trench coats, had a skull-and-crossbones motif throughout.

How does this fit with Uniqlo’s basic, stripped-down aesthetic? It will be interesting to see. But Takahashi is nothing if not adaptable. Undercover has evolved throughout the years as a punk-rock experiment to a wearable, even practical line with enough wit and subversion to keep in interesting. Takanashi’s latest innovations have been with textiles — using NASA-developed technologies and fabrics to create lightweight garments that keep the body warm in extreme cold and cool in the heat in response to climate change. That sort of thinking and problem-solving shows that he will adapt his brand’s surrealist, unusual aesthetic to a big commercial retailer’s just fine.

http://blogs.forbes.com/raquellaneri/2011/07/27/jun-takahashi-the-experimental-designer-who-will-replace-jil-sander-at-uniqlo/

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I know you're from NYC but IMO Uniqlo did okay even with their "for US" stuff mixed with their JP stuff in the beginning. It's just natural progression that they're sunk in to the American market and took off. Sizing is still a little different too from garments i buy at the Soho store compared to their stores in Asia.

Also, i think the price to quality ratio is still by far the best compared to all the other mass retailers out there.

Of course it doesnt have the rep of quality in japan where quality is king but you have to understand what people are comparing it to relatively speaking. even in japan what would you compare them with, perhaps Muji? Muji doesn't have as big of a collection in terms of apparels.

I think Uniqlo's only popular in the US because it fills what was a gap in the marketplace with their clothing. Gap, Old Navy, H&M, etc are huge retailers in the US, so they make clothing that generally fits the average US person, aka, wider/baggier in the middle. Uniqlo took off here once they started to ditch their "for US" stuff and imported their Japanese sized stuff, and then re-designed their US stuff based around that. Not to mention there weren't too many companies here that went the non-branded basics route aside from like AA, and I don't know which came first in the US. The average person doesn't care nearly enough about quality as some of y'all on here.

Don't think the collection will be all that special, and not really digging it for a similar reason scitsilyts posted up there. Never really dug the +J line either though so maybe that's just personal bias.

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Short summary of what I think about Uniqlo now, bit off-topic (and it seems this is the most up-to-date thread):

Received a suit from Uniqlo via proxy (thanks dddr!). I read through the discussion and understand the different perspective from people who may live near many Uniqlo stores, and the view that they are comparable to what we in the US see i.e. H&M, Gap, etc. That is only normal. Sawyer makes good points too regarding the underlining similarity all these retailers share 'at the end of the day'.

That being said though, I really can say that Uniqlo > H&M, Gap, etc. in terms of the fit. And that to me is the #1 selling point and differentiates Uniqlo from other retailers in similar market. I have shopped at H&M for many days, and I only find their most basic of apparel to be suitable ($5 blank tees can't go wrong). I always end up returning everything I buy at H&M when I thought initially it was a good buy...with Uniqlo, especially with my first purchase (the suit), I am impressed and sad at the same time. WHY? Because they do not have any stores in California, and limited to one in the US.

I am a believer now, a true convert. In the end, I think there is a reason why Uniqlo is highly spoken of/large following on forums such as sufu, the clothes speak for itself. There really is no comparison in terms of the fit/style that Uniqlo has and can offer (like with this new collab) to other stores...I mean, w/e happened to H&M x Lavin?

Last thought is that I think Uniqlo really does well in metropolitan areas as its variety of style is great for such a large demographic. Why not a store to Frisco or LA? :) If this suit is any indication of what I can expect from Uniqlo, :D...and following the measurements provided online was TTS and flawless.

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im sure theyll get there soon enough. theyre heavily expanding in nyc at the moment. a few pop up shops, sponsoring a roller rink at the high line, and 3 more stores to open on top of the OG location on bway.

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So what is status on the collab? When will it come out? Will it be sold in European UNIQLO stores as well? Any peek at the collection yet?

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its not out yet in singapore, they are still hanging left over items from jil the j+ line

asked one of my friend who works there to update me when they are up, will update

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thanks mate, definitely let us know! if the collection is anywhere as badass as my guts tell me, I'll need to proxy the entire collection in my size :ph34r:

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my guts tell me the basics are gonna fit awesome, maybe some summer parkas, if it's uniqlo probably chinos are not gonna fit very nicely, but tops are always nice coming from them

but my friend is only a part timer so no inside information

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^ that is like really cheap.

One thing caught my eye though

These uu_12.jpg offerings will be gradually released in 32 stores in Japan, in addition to UNIQLO's 11 markets abroad, starting with the global flagship store in Tokyo's Ginza district (which will open on March 16).

Does this mean that we'll have to wait even longer than march 16 before it is released in the Uniqlo London store?

(very important since I might just buy plane tickets to go to London :) )

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Jun is family man now :)

The mens biker jacket looks nice I doubt its gonig to be real leather though so why even bother :angry:

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I don't know what I am feeling right now. perhaps the trousers will be good.

the kids especially the little boy is more fresh than everybody.

Does this mean that we'll have to wait even longer than march 16 before it is released in the Uniqlo London store?
No, think like +J. The Collection itself will release in bits and pieces similar to most designers collections. Unlike H&M where the Designer collab all drops at the same date (besides this Versace two season). Edited by Desi

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and as it is for uniqlo, there are gonna basic pieces as well i think, plain shirt tee etc

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Not feeling the men's stuff all that much right now, but I'm looking forward to some good basics. Echoing what Desi said, the little boy does look the best. My 2 year old is gonna be swagged out in UU.

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i rly want to cop the whole line for my lil sis, even the boys line. just for braggin rights tho.

:P

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probably grab a sweater/buttondown/basics assortment, prices look on point

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