Interview with Christophe Lemaire

Interview with Christophe Lemaire

What was the starting point for this collection?

This collection is very much about loose fits, boxy volume, generosity, ease, and drape. We've been working a lot with a new quality of jersey that we’ve developed in different ways, both for men and women. For instance, a tailored suit with a turtleneck top in different weights of the same jersey. It’s a very clean but rich look, to create a new kind of suiting with this mixture of structure and relaxed feel.


You have again leaned into more versatile, genderless pieces. Why is this important to you?

There are some pieces in the collection that are designed to be offered both for men and women. Genderless clothing is something we've always been interested in. And obviously, it’s now a big trend. It's not only a high fashion or an avant garde phenomenon, it's in society today. Men buy womenswear and vice versa. There are bridges being made.

Uniqlo U is known for its innovative, functional details. What are some highlights this season?

We try to bring functionality that doesn't overcome the design and doesn’t look super technical. It's always about looking for the maximum protection, the position of the pockets, thinking about gestures, or something to protect your arms while you're biking. We always design secret pockets. Sometimes people will buy a Uniqlo U jacket and discover after a few months that there’s a secret pocket—we love that!


The Uniqlo U T-shirt, which we like to call the perfect tee, is a best seller. What makes a perfect T-shirt and how did you adapt it this season?

I'm very happy to see that this perfect tee has been there for a while. We worked first on the knit and the quality of the jersey. And together with the development team, we came up with this unique texture that's not too flimsy, but not too heavy. It's taken a lot of research to find the perfect fabrication. The collar is also very important—it’s about millimetres. And the colour palette; we work very carefully every season to renew the colour palette to ensure sophistication. As I always say, a beautiful colour is not more expensive than a cheap colour. And especially for Uniqlo, which is a Japanese brand, with Japan having such a culture of refinement and colour.

The colour palette is quite concise this season. Very rich, yet also neutral. What inspired it?

Every season we work carefully on colours. There are many nuances of the same colours that can be explored depending on the fabrication. One of this season’s key colours is azuki, and any nuance of shades between brown and purple or burnt red. It's also very interesting to see how colours are in the air. Sometimes the team works separately to prepare colourways to propose and we come with the same ideas.