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(UIP) Functional living: In the rain

UNIQLO INNOVATION PROJECT

The technicalities and functionality of a piece of outerwear is not always a deciding factor when we buy a top, a new coat or a new jacket; although it should be. If they look nice and feel nice, these are enough to persuade us to part cash and wear them lovingly. But what about our lifestyles? Surely how we live our day to day lives should also be a deciding factor?

Living in the UK means living with rain and lots of it. Therefore it’s only natural that you would want a jacket which accommodates wear in such conditions. Why settle for a a jacket which soaks up the rain when you can have one which has the rain roll right off of it?

Functional living in a jacket which is water resistant, water durable and water repellent. It pays off.

This is the UNIQLO INNOVATION PROJECT.

The return of the UNIQLO INNOVATION PROJECT (UIP)

Functionality and Universality are set to show the world how the future dresses, with the second season of the UNIQLO INNOVATION PROJECT. But you can refer to it under the cooler acronym UIP.

We have always done things a bit different when it comes to clothes. We’ve used the technological aspects of textiles and fabrics to push the envelope of fashion with the likes of Ultra light down and HEATTECH. But how do we push it further? How do we take fabrics and textiles and use them in a way which makes a garment comfortable, simple and functional? It’s these questions which have become the basis of UIP.

The collective creative minds of Naoki Takizawa, Kashiwa Sato and Nicola Formichetti have created a collection which focuses on the application of functionality and universality to fashion. Re-defining outerwear and sportswear for the active modern day man and woman. Boasting unique features such as the worlds first easy open zipper, parkas which are pocketable and water repellency: perfect as we muddle through the transitional season of Spring which brings warm temperatures along with occasional downpours. With this collection coming from UNIQLO, colour is guaranteed; with bright pinks and neon limes piercing through the sea of monochromatics you’ll find elsewhere.

UIP. The form of functionality + universality. It’s how the future dresses. And it’s here for you now.

The IPJ collection will be available from January 30th, exclusively at our 311 Oxford street store and online @ UNIQLO.com.

Washable knitwear?

Our washable knitwear has caused some confusion across Europe over the past few years. Why is Washable knitwear a tag line for a product when we throw everything into the washing machine regardless of what the label says? There is a reason. And as with our company, it all originates from Japan.

Dry cleaning is an everyday part of Japanese culture. Take a walk around a local neighbourhood or apartment complex and you’ll be spoilt for choice of dry cleaners. Japanese households have washing machines and tumble dryers. But in a country where everybody adheres to the washing labels and the average dry clean is so cheap - it’s the norm. For this reason, being able to buy washable knitwear from the nearest high street store is a big deal. Some would even say a God send. Which somewhat explains why our washable knitwear imagery displays a stack of sweaters evangelically sat on water. (Note: We added the doves for effect).

In the UK however, washable knitwear isn’t seen as a revolution. Why would it be, when UK society as a whole machine washes everything?

Name aside, you’ll find that our washable knitwear is colourful, easy to style and of course…washable. Sitting as a nice, light, spring knitwear alternative to heavier, warmer knits such as our beloved merino, Lambswool and cashmere. Made from rich Supima cotton: a strong resilient cotton, washable knitwear maintains its shape after repeated washes.

Washable knitwear. A sweater just like any other and yet unlike any other. Also washable. Available in all stores and online @ UNIQLO.com from £19.90.

UNIQLO x Laura Ashley

UNIQLO x Laura Ashley

There have been whispers and rumours abound about UNIQLO and Laura Ashley launching a range together. And can confirm here and now that it is a reality and 100% true. Laura Ashley and UNIQLO have come together to bring you an archive collection of classic Ashley floral print UT’s.

With the floral print boom hitting fever pitch over the past few years, we figured there was no better way than to celebrate its place in fashion than with the classic heritage brand which started it all. Laura Ashley.

The Laura Ashley UT collection features a range of T-shirts, stoles and tunics featuring the quintessential Ashley floral prints which have captured the fascination and hearts of women from as early as 1953.

Not just content with making a contribution to fashion, Laura Ashley and UNIQLO will also make a donation from the net sales of the collection to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN agency providing protection and support to refugees worldwide.

The Laura Ashley x UNIQLO collection will be available from February 6th at all UNIQLO stores and @ UNIQLO.com, with the full collection available on February 20th

Autumn / Winter 2011 - Ultra light down

As the weather cools down, the need to beat the chill grows stronger. UNIQLO Ultra Light Down offers the ultimate winter insulation by using 90% pure goose down. Designed to meet the demands for clothing that is adaptable to sudden changes in temperature, Ultra Light Down outerwear is lighter than ever before.

UNIQLO Ultra Light Down offers warmth, durability and lightness, all packed up into a little carry case the size of a small milk carton. Ultra Light Down debuted in 2009 and thanks to UNIQLO’s strict product development process, the initial design has undergone continuous development (with the help the ever innovative Toray Industries) to reduce the weight from 270 grams to 206 grams, and now to an ultra light weight 196 grams!

Ordinary down jackets are comprised of a 2-layer structure where the down is packed and stitched into an outer fabric shell, but UNIQLO’s Ultra Light Down jackets are no ordinary down jackets. Our down jackets are subjected to heat and pressure treatments during the production process to mesh the threads of the Nylon outer layer so the down won’t escape. This process eliminates the need to tightly pack the down, resulting in a reduction in weight.

Our Ultra light down jackets are available in Gilet, Jacket, Parka and Coat form. So regardless of your style or outerwear preference, there’s no excuse for you not to pick something up from our Ultra light down range. Try it to believe it.

The UNIQLO Innovation Project

In 2 days time, we will be premiering our debut collection under the UNIQLO Innovation project concept. 

Through working with Design Director Naoki Takizawa, Creative Director Kashiwa Sato and world famed Style Director Nicola Formichetti the UNIQLO Innovation Project will act as an evolution of clothing at UNIQLO; featuring a versatile collection of garments with cutting-edge fabric technology. The UNIQLO Innovation Project collection will represent the ultimate in everyday apparel, pairing universal designs with revolutionary functionality.

The UNIQLO Innovation Project encapsulates a concept which we have continued to hone over the years and will continue to extend to all of it’s clothing in the future. We just want to make sure that nobody misses out and that our messages are heard loud and clear with this new collection - which is that functionality and universality go hand in hand. Function and fashion needn’t be estranged. Our Innovation project represents how the future dresses. Only, we’re letting you dress in it now.

Wednesday’s wear: Lambswool cardy

UNIQLO Men's Lambswool cardigan

Lambswool. Growing up it was the one form of clothing we’d hate to wear because "it itches". But there is an allure to them as you grow older, as how you look begins to take precedence how something feels. But a stylish fashion staple is allowed to have its aesthetic perks. And our Lambswool comes with added softness. Added comfort and is available in 15 colours.

Men’s Lambswool cardigans have not only seen a surge in popularity amongst guys gearing towards thick knits - but girls too.

When it comes to a Lambswool cardigan, bigger is better. Wear it large and oversized with a pair of slims or skinny’s to keep proportion and avoid being swamped head-to-toe by excess materials.

Shop your Lambswool cardy here.