How did this collection come about?
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 various ways, both for men and women. For example, a tailored suit with a turtleneck top in various weights of the same jersey. This is a very clean but rich look, combining structure and relaxation to create a new kind of suit.
You have again leaned into more versatile, genderless pieces. Why is this important to you?
Several pieces in 23FW are designed to be worn both by men and women. We've always been interested in genderless clothing. And now it's a big trend. It isn't just a high fashion or avant garde phenomenon; it's in society today as well. Men do buy women's clothing, and conversely. There are bridges.
Uniqlo U is known for its innovative, functional details. What are some highlights of this season?
It is important to us that functionality doesn't override the design and doesn't look too technical. When it comes to cycling, it's always about maximizing protection, positioning pockets, thinking about gestures, or protecting your arms. We always design hidden pockets. In some cases, people discover a secret pocket in a Uniqlo U jacket after a few months—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 update it this season?
I'm delighted that this ideal tee has been around for quite a while. We initially focused on the texture and excellence of the jersey. Alongside the development team, we conjured up this extraordinary dry hand effect - not too light or heavy. It required a ton of trial and error to hit the perfect fabrication. The collar's design is also very essential - it's about millimeters! And with regards to color palette, we meticulously redesign it each season in order to make it stylish. As I always say, a magnificent shade doesn't cost more than an inexpensive one. Especially for Uniqlo - being a Japanese brand - Japan holds such esteem for refinement and color.
The color palette is quite concise this season. Very rich yet also neutral. What inspired it?
There are many nuances of the same colors that can be explored depending on the fabrication, so we work carefully on colors every season. In addition, it's really interesting to see how colors are in the air. This season's key colors are azuki, and any shade of brown between purple and brown or burnt red. Sometimes the team works separately on colorways to propose and we all come up with the same ideas.