By Jack Watson
Sources: hypebeast.com, stupiddope.com, vogue.co.uk, styleforum.net, uniqlo.com
It’s been a big year in Boston for Japanese retail giant, Uniqlo. Two new locations have opened, two more are on the way and a pop-up shop has emerged in Faneuil hall, all within a short timeframe. Across the country and the globe, the company has been adding new locations, expanding product lines and branching out with new collaborations. Recently, Uniqlo announced collaborations with Alexandre Plokhov, now designing for Helmut Lang, and with Jil Sander for a greatest hits collection of their previous +J line.
Plokhov founded and designed for the New York-based brand Cloak in 1999 where he worked with the likes of Robert Geller and Ken Chow before closing down in 2007. Plokhov then worked for Versace until 2010 and founded the self-titled Alexandre Plokhov line soon after. Recently, Plokhov has begun working with Helmut Lang. For his collaboration with Uniqlo, titled Urban Sweats, Plokhov has introduced a range of sweatshirts, jackets and pants for both men and women. Some standout garments include hooded sweatshirts, with almost turtleneck-like processes inside the hood, ribbed-hem cargo sweats and poncho-sweatshirt hybrids. If any criticism can be levied, it’s that the menswear line isn’t bold enough. Womenswear gets an array of tops that have a much wider range of proportions and silhouettes than the menswear offerings procure. Urban Sweats hit shelves September 22 and can be picked up at any mainline Uniqlo location.
Also coming this fall, is the return of +J. Uniqlo has a history with famed fashion house Jil Sander, with whom they worked with from 2009-2011 to create the +J line. +J used high-quality fabrics and textiles and conveyed a diffused version of mainline Jil Sander, which is known for a quintessentially minimalist and ultramodern look. Recently, Uniqlo announced that they would again be collaborating with Sander for a ‘Greatest Hits’ collection of previous +J offerings. This includes suits, shirting, knitwear and outerwear for men and women. Standouts from the collection are the returning down vests, flannel suits, tuxedo shirts and wool dresses amongst other timeless pieces.
The collaboration is, of course, only with the brand and not the woman. Sander left her own label (for the third time) in 2013 and had previously sold most of the fashion house to Prada in 2000. +J drops in select locations on October 3 and online on October 10.