Though Uniqlo, the Japanese brand known for its affordable, no-frills staples, is far from fast-fashion, it has cultivated an extremely fashion portfolio in the six years since Nicola Formichetti first signed on as its then-fashion director. (Rather than pursuing the latest trends like most fast-fashion brands, Uniqlo opts for more basic, seasonless silhouettes.) From collaborations with Carine Roitfeld and Jil Sander to Uniqlo U, designed by Christophe Lemaire (now entering its third season), Uniqlo has expanded its reach while retaining the timeless, tailored quality that earned it myriad fans from its native Tokyo across the Pacific to New York.
And now, the U.K.: On Wednesday, Uniqlo Lifewear announced its latest partnership, a capsule collection with Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson. Anderson will design a range of his daring, traditionally British Isles-inspired garments across both menswear and womenswear for Uniqlo. The collection is slated for release with the Fall 2017 season, adding to Anderson's already diverse portfolio of design projects — he's creative director of both his eponymous label and the Spanish leather goods and ready-to-wear brand Loewe.
"Uniqlo is probably the most incredible template of democracy in fashion," Anderson said in a statement released by Uniqlo. While J.W. Anderson's price point remains out of reach for many, the Uniqlo collaboration will bring similar designs to a far wider audience.
It might be an unexpected collaboration, as Anderson isn't exactly known for his basics (his latest collection was a hodge-podge of inspirations, filled with unfinished dresses, cropped leather jackets, and eclectic details) — but he is known for his creative partnerships. Last year, he launched a capsule collection with rapper A$AP Rocky, and earlier this year, he turned art curator with the exhibition "Disobedient Bodies" at London's Hepworth Wakefield gallery.
It's been five years since Anderson's last such retail collaboration, though — he teamed up with Topshop on accessories and womenswear in 2012. Both sold out nearly instantly. His star has only risen in fashion since then, earning him the 2015 British Fashion Award for menswear and womenswear, so we're already anticipating Uniqlo has a hit on their hands.
See Agnes Lloyd-Platt take on J.W. Anderson and more in this behind-the-scenes video of The Shot winner's W shoot: