top of page
  • Writer's pictureCatherine Flutsch

Sartorial Significance: Christophe Lemaire's Uniqlo U Spring Summer 2024


Image from Uniqlo U SS24 lookbook

Christophe Lemaire’s Spring Summer 24 collaboration with Uniqlo dropped on 14 March, and the fans are happy.*

 

Uniqlo has elevated the concept of designer collaborations, building upon the foundation laid by H&M's iconic Karl Lagerfeld collection in 2004.  Indeed, Uniqlo has taken a minority stake in Lemaire’s eponymous brand, bringing genuine authenticity to the word “collaboration”. 

 

Lemaire is the only one of Uniqlo’s collaboration designers to have a dedicated Uniqlo studio in Paris  - custom designed by interior design firm, ciguë, the space is minimalist, light, and informal.  A perfect place to apply Lemaire’s design philosophy to his Uniqlo collections.


Uniqlo U R&D centre in Paris

Uniqlo U's R&D centre in Paris, designed by ciguë from design boom


Lemaire, and his creative partner Sarah-Linh Tran, bring minimal luxe to this season’s Uniqlo U collection, which feels like a carefully curated summary of Lemaire’s own brand – at a fraction of the price. 


Uniqlo U portrait of Sarah-Linh Tran and Christophe Lemaire

Sarah-Linh Tran and Christphe Lemaire from lemaire.fr

 

As in past Uniqlo U seasons, the SS 24 season is a tightly edited collection of muted hues – greys, purples, tans, creams, blues and a sprinkling of black.  Most pieces are functionally gender neutral – and look wonderful oversized or fitted.  Centred around interchangeable separates, the collection highlights basic shapes modified with subtle modern twists.


Uniqlo U image from lookbook boxy jacket

From Uniqlo U SS24 Lookbook

 

Both Uniqlo and Lemaire have an iterative way of working, so that each season brings nuanced modifications to previous seasons’ motifs. Modifications come from customer feedback, which is intensively monitored, and from textile innovation.  Uniqlo’s vertical integration lends itself perfectly to this iterative way of working – with both textile R&D and manufacturing carried out inhouse so that even the smallest modification to a silhouette can be achieved with precision.  This means that pieces from previous SS Uniqlo U collections slot together – extending the life of each collection and bypassing the disposable fashion ethos of other high street brands.


Uniqlo U image from lookbook high waisted jeans

From Uniqlo U SS24 Lookbook

 

In the SS24 Uniqlo U collection, two pieces stand out as the stars - the high waisted straight leg colour jeans and the V neck cardigan.  The jeans are comfortable and designed to sit fitted to the natural waist while falling straight from the thighs elevating them from the standard blue jeans aesthetic. The colour descriptions on the website are not quite accurate - what's listed as grey on the website looks to my eyes like sage green, and what's listed as khaki looks to me like tan. If you're unsure - you may need to see the colours instore.


Uniqlo U cardigan in sage green

Uniqlo U SS24 cardigan Note that this colour in the cardigan is listed as green, but in the high waisted jeans this same colour is listed as grey.

 

The cardigan is slightly bat winged, with a wide ribbed waistband that sits on the natural waist – giving it a sculptural quality that takes design cues from Uniqlo’s patented whole garment 3D knit technology. 


Uniqlo U drawstring backpack in cream

Uniqlo U SS24 drawstring backpack

 

I also like the draw string backpack in cream. Lemaire loves his sack like bags with draw strings – and having tested quite a few – I can report back that only the cream colour is functional.  The larger draw string bags are so cavernous that it’s impossible to find things if they are in any colour other than cream.  The instructions state that the bags should not be washed – however – cream does get dirty and I have thrown mine in the washing machine on a delicate cycle numerous times and it has been fine.

I've found that the pieces in this collection suit well with the white trainers from Clare Waight Keller's Uniqlo C collection, released on 22 Feb. While the Uniqlo C collection isn't really my aesthetic, the trainers from this collection are sleek, comfortable and true to size.**


Uniqlo C trainers

 

I love the interesting and modern silhouettes that the pieces create together, how they look great on a diversity of body shapes and skin colours,  and the fact that each piece is so comfortable and so easy to wear.  Once a piece sells out, Uniqlo tends to completely delete it from the website - so if you fall in love with a piece, get it sooner rather than later. Lemaire’s SS24 Uniqlo U collection is understated, contemplative and extremely chic.

 

Feature image from Uniqlo U SS24 lookbook.

*I'm aware that fashion bloggers are supposed to publish photos of themselves in carefully curated pieces from the collection they're reviewing, but I broke out in a cold sweat at the thought of that. Perhaps as I get braver doing posts on fashion, I'll do that.

**As they've only just been released, I can't comment on the longevity of these trainers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you might enjoy reading my other posts about fashion.

Comments


Square Stage
bottom of page