Designer / high-street collaborations are becoming ever frequent. In recent years, H&M have become known for their annual designer collaborations having tapped the likes of Marni, Jeremy Scott and most recently Pringle of Scotland. Elsewhere, Topshop famously teamed up with Beyonce and Kate Moss while Urban Outfitters championed young British designers Bobby Abley and Liam Hodges. But it’s Uniqlo’s seasonal collaborations with British designer JW Anderson which seems to have maintained a level of fashion hype.
Known for his croched knitwear and large turn-up trousers and jeans, the British designer is currently Creative Director for Spanish fashion house Loewe, as well as the founder of his very own eponymous brand. For the past two years, he’s been working with Uniqlo on producing a new collection which brings a touch of the JW magic to the high-street, offering fashion fans the opportunity to snatch up something branded at a lower price point. He’s making the high end accessible for all.
While most might assume that these collaborations are merely budget versions of the designers high end mainline, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Each collection is carefully crafted to tell a story and produced with the best available fabrics while still being affordable. There’s a theme that runs through each collection, and the development of the story is evident throughout. It’s clear to see that, while it has the JW Anderson staples, his work with Uniqlo is an entirely different entity.
For his new Fall/Winter collab collection, he’s looking at the significance of the British staple. It’s a tribute to his childhood and trips to St Ives in Cornwall, which is celebrated for its blend of art and nature. He plays close attention to tartan, which is seen across skirts, scarves and jumpers in an array of colours and checks. Elsewhere, fairisle-style sweaters and socks also come into play, an ode to the Great British Outdoors. He’s also re-introduced his reversible wear, ensuring that many of the coats and jackets have a two-step approach. As far as accessories go, his bags are always a particular highlight. This season sees the introduction of a reversible bag which can be worn two different ways – versatility at its finest. Ultimately, it’s British heritage nostalgia, with a contemporary twist.
“Like all the seasons I’ve done with UNIQLO, it’s always interesting to see the collection evolve through the meetings with the teams and see if it really becomes this amalgamation of LifeWear and JW Anderson,” Anderson says of his new A/W collection for Uniqlo. “I liked this idea of pops of colour to make the heritage British patterns and colours feel a bit more modern. Contrasting pops of colour and tartan are very present.”
The new UNIQLO and JW ANDERSON Fall/Winter 2019 Collection is available now.