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Desire and necessity: the philosophy behind Uniqlo U latest collection

Christophe Lemaire redefined the concept of normcore

Desire and necessity: the philosophy behind Uniqlo U latest collection
Christophe Lemaire redefined the concept of normcore
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Desire and necessity: the philosophy behind Uniqlo U latest collection Christophe Lemaire redefined the concept of normcore

Desire and necessity:

the philosophy behind
Uniqlo U
latest collection

la filosofia dietro
la nuova collezione
di Uniqlo U

Christophe Lemaire redefined the concept of normcore

When, eight years ago, the definition of 'normcore' was coined, the expression began to identify not only a type of minimal and monochromatic clothing, but also a new way of conceiving fashion, a countercurrent and avant-garde vision that wanted to move away as much as possible from the over-the-top, bold, noisy and consumerist aesthetic that started in the Eighties and extended up to the early 2000s.

Wearing a white T-shirt was a vindication of values, almost a political act, a gesture that, not surprisingly, was the basis of one of the last western subcultures, the hipster one. From Berlin in the early '00s to 2021, normcore has found different interpretations and reiterations, and today Uniqlo is the brand that more than any other has chosen as its creative philosophy pieces of clothing that reflect essentiality in aesthetics.

With the LifeWear mindset, Uniqlo was able to create a fashion that was both cerebral and accessible, thoughtful and intuitive, finding the key to its success in clear lines and soft tones.

A widespread and global expansion that has also resulted in a fruitful dialogue with the most important voices of the industry, thanks to a series of collaborations that have redefined Uniqlo's range of action.

The best example of all this is the Uniqlo U line, designed in Paris by Christophe Lemaire, formerly the creative director of Lacoste and Hermès, as well as founder and creative director of the homonymous brand, who is now unveiling the SS21 collection of the sub line.

Quality, functionality, movability, durability, solidity, comfort, and timelessness.
My definition of essential is a piece you need as much as you want.
Desire + necessity.

Normcore according to Uniqlo and Christophe Lemaire introduces a new way of looking at fashion. The long-lasting collaboration between the brand and the designer, started in 2014, is built on two pillars in constant dialogue with each other: desire and necessity.

“Today we have the same goals as Uniqlo. Quality items, simple design, something for everyone. The difference is that Uniqlo U is designing basics, but with a point of view. We make elevated essentials. We are constantly refining and reconsidering what is truly necessary, what makes a piece essential.

Desire + necessity.
That’s Uniqlo U” explained Lemaire.

Normcore according to Uniqlo and Christophe Lemaire introduces a new way of looking at fashion. The long-lasting collaboration between the brand and the designer, started in 2014, is built on two pillars in constant dialogue with each other: desire and necessity.

“Today we have the same goals as Uniqlo. Quality items, simple design, something for everyone. The difference is that Uniqlo U is designing basics, but with a point of view. We make elevated essentials. We are constantly refining and reconsidering what is truly necessary, what makes a piece essential.

Desire + necessity.
That’s Uniqlo U” explained Lemaire.

A unique perspective that has anticipated the times and has become more current than ever during the months of the pandemic, which have changed the very definition of normality, and which has also left deep traces in our wardrobe and in the way we approach fashion.

Most of all, the way we look at our wardrobe has changed, a casket designed to contain only pieces that "spark joy" as the queen of decluttering would say, which are functional, practical, the highest expression of our personal style.

The collection reflects our current lifestyles, from working from home, to the “one-mile” concept, to pieces that work both indoors and outside.

This means simpler pieces that are reduced to what’s necessary, so just practical, functional and clean.

And with the weather turning warmer, we focused on creating items that are as light as possible, roomy and easy, with fresh texture, continued Lemaire.

That timelessness soul is obtained above all in the color palette, which was one of the main focuses when designing Uniqlo U SS21 collection.

Between neutral tones and brighter shades, beige plays a central role, so much so that Lemaire created seven different shades of this color. That sense of freedom and fluidity translates into the use of lightweight materials, such as breathable cotton, nylon and a viscose inspired by vintage garments in the women's proposal; while the men's collection restarts from oversized silhouettes - now mainstream - finding a more relaxed and sophisticated fit, without betraying its street soul but taking on a timeless character.

Uniqlo and Christophe Lemaire challenge the rhythm and diktats of the fashion industry, which bulimically is always looking for the next trends and aesthetics, creating an ethereal yet concrete dream shared by thousands of consumers.