Top tier labels teaming up with well-established high-street favourites is not an entirely new concept, but it somehow always manages to spark a fresh discussion. By opening up its offering to the masses with a lower price point, a dynamic new wave of brand loyalists can be welcomed into a designer’s fold. Conversely, one could argue that to produce design en masse risks losing the very essence and craftsmanship that makes luxury so great. But, if we’ve learnt once thing over the years and countless sync ups, it’s that not all collaborations are created equal, with only a key few managing to quell our doubts time and time again. Case in point, Uniqlo who is currently ushering in its fifth anniversary collaboration with British designer of the moment, JW Anderson – and managing to get us equally as excited about it now as when they first cemented the relationship.
JW Anderson is unmistakably one of London Fashion Week’s biggest draws, representing the sweet spot of luxury that has the younger generation clambering to possess his latest it item – a remodelled patchwork trench, a viral Tik Tok jumper, a scalloped crop knit. Skilfully treading the line between masculine and feminine elements, his aesthetic is at once playfully minimal as it is expressive and bold. And in his collaboration with Uniqlo, these elements are not lost. In fact, together they’re something of a powerhouse duo, amplifying the other’s greatest qualities to deliver a capsule of affordable, versatile pieces that feel far more elevated than Uniqlo – or the rest of the high street – could normally hope to achieve.
Uniqlo and minimalism are long acquainted, but how does Jonathan infuse the giant’s usual pared down fair with a dose of much needed Britishism? Chintzy Fair Isle knits feel contemporary when combined with clean, stripped back shapes in striking hues, while plain merino roll necks feel far from boring with contrasting panels and patches – a simple but effective switch-up, and exactly the sort of smart thinking employed within Anderson’s own line. With autumnal colours, heritage prints and excesses of outerwear, it all feels terribly traditional at first glimpse – then you discover the modern touches that, well let’s face it, make it cool.
As with all collaborations of this kind, pieces will be down to their last sizes in no time. To help you snag your pick of the bunch, scroll to discover the designs worth heading for first.