Interview with Christophe Lemaire

Interview with Christophe Lemaire

What was the starting point for this collection?

The fall collection is very much about loose fit, boxy volume: generosity, ease, drape. We've been working a lot around 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 good mixture of structure and a relaxed feel.


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

There are some pieces in the 23FW 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 do buy womenswear and the contrary. There are bridges.

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 bestseller. 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 weaving and the quality of the jersey. And together with the development team, we really came up with this special dry hand. Not too flimsy, not too heavy. It's been a lot of research to find the perfect fabrication. The weave of the collar is very important—it’s about millimeters. And the color palette, we work very carefully every season on renewing a color palette that can be sophisticated. As I always say, a beautiful color is not more expensive than a cheap color. And especially for Uniqlo, which is a Japanese brand, and Japan has such a culture of refinement and color.

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

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