Going beyond basics

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UNIQLO PHILIPPINES is welcoming the hot summer season by presenting some of boldest prints to have ever been used by the Japanese apparel brand — including a collaboration with Finnish design firm Marimekko as well as new additions to the SPRZ NY UT (Uniqlo T-shirts) line.

“This is our first collaboration with Marimekko. [In this collection] Marimekko’s aesthetic in terms vibrant prints and designs, married with our casual, everyday look makes perfect design,” Georgette Barrera-Jalasco, marketing manager of Fast Retailing Co. (the Philippine distributor of Uniqlo), told BusinessWorld during the collection’s launch on March 1 in One Canvas Events Place, Makati City.

The Helsinki-based design firm, which is known for its signature prints like the poppy print pattern which came out in 1964, brings its colorful aesthetic over to Uniqlo’s basics including graphic T-shirts, swingy sleeveless blouses, wide-leg cropped pants, sleeveless shift dresses, tote bags, and canvas sneakers. The female-only line is scheduled to arrive in April.

Aside from Marimekko, Uniqlo’s T-shirt line is featuring graphic prints created by SPRZ NY, a collaborator since 2014. Taking cues from pop culture, the brand introduces the SPRZ NY EAMES line which pay tribute to the contributions of Charles and Ray Eames.

Charles and Ray Eames are the husband and wife tandem that created the famous Eames lounge chair in 1956. The Uniqlo UT line dedicated to their works include a two-way stole for women and a shirt (for both men and women).

The UT line also teased a Marvel collection line though no release date was revealed. Other additions to the UT line include a shirt by Filipino designer Chan Cane alongside shirts featuring the popular Minions animated characters from the Despicable Me film franchise and shirts with designs from Disney’s Fantasia.

“With UT, it’s really an opportunity for us to collaborate with other personalities and other pop culture brands where Uniqlo becomes a bit more creative,” Ms. Barrera-Jalasco said.

Also notable in the Uniqlo Philippines Spring/Summer 2018 collection is the introduction of the Uniqlo Men’s Super Non-Iron Shirt made with “special stitching and processing to stay almost wrinkle-free, even after washing,” according to a company press release.

For women, the company released the Smart Ankle Pants said to combine an elegant look with a relaxed, comfortable feel by virtue of the elastic waist and a central crease to add a dressy touch.

“We’re very excited about [the Super Non-Iron Shirt] and we hope there will be a positive response from our customers. Right now, it’s only for men but if the reception is good, who knows, we might also come out with a women’s line,” Ms. Barrera-Jalasco said.

The launch also introduced additions to the brand’s AIRism line of innerwear, known for a material that wicks away sweat and keeps the user cool even during hot weather. This time, the lineup includes three types: mesh, jersey and seamless.

“We believe this product is one of key strategic products for the brand and we know that once Filipinos become more aware of what AIRism can do for them, then the response will become even more positive,” she said. — Zsarlene B. Chua