This collection features versatile pieces that can go from exercise to become the base of an urban look. What is your approach to activewear?
We wanted to keep activewear's functionality and technicality but without looking too sporty. Layering is key in our silhouette, and activewear fits completely in that concept. It's a base that can be worn on its own to exercise and as the first layer for a modern and chic look, from yoga to the art gallery.
The color palette this season is more playful and vibrant. How did it come to life?
The Uniqlo U DNA colors are interesting neutrals–rich, subtle and refined. This season we were drawn to softer tones that bring a hopeful lightness to both the men’s and women’s collections. We punctuated this with sunny yellows and oranges, and bolder shades of purple and pink. Then it’s about finding the right combinations of shades to achieve a palette that can be easily pieced together, in every possible combination.
What is the technology behind the new seamless, tubular cut and sewn pieces?
This is an amazing technique. The machine weaves the different parts of the garments in tubes and then we assemble them together. For example, the two legs of a pair of leggings are woven in a tubular form and then stitched together at the center front and back. This gives you the opportunity to remove the side seams of the garments, offering more movement possibilities.
Which piece defines the spirit of this collection?
For womenswear, the pocketable poncho in water-repellent nylon represents the idea of the collection by answering a proper need–to repel light rain–in a fresh and colorful palette, while creating a stylish silhouette. We also like the idea of transparency in an outerwear piece.
In menswear, the cotton seersucker shirt and easy shorts, in stripes and checks, really sets the tone for the collection. It’s menswear staples done in a playful, textured way for unexpected combinations.
Also, the unisex drawstring shoulder bag in nylon is really becoming a signature, modern sophisticated bag. It’s back and we all love it. The whole team wears it too!
Utility details are a calling card of Uniqlo U. Why are you drawn to them?
Because we design for everyday life. This is LifeWear! It’s what we focus a lot of our time on, the placement and construction of details, pockets, drawstrings, and other modular elements. Focusing on utility pushes us to rethink function in our daily life and our new habits. We want all elements of our clothes to be designed for use, and each element functional. We try to be straightforward, with an emphasis on how the piece is cut, how the fabric behaves. Simple, high quality with a practical sense of beauty.
How can we still look chic during the warm summer months?
Layering is key. In the morning and night, it might still be cold, and you may want to wear a cardigan or a light blouson jacket, for instance, ribbed cardigan for women and oversized utility jacket for men. Crisp cloth, cut wide–ease and comfort first! And AIRism cotton styles are comfortable by its dry and smooth to the touch functions throughout the day.