Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire designed the fall-winter 2022 collection for UNIQLO U as an exercise of constraint. Lemaire and the UNIQLO Research and Development Centre in Paris effortlessly demonstrate the concept that “less is more.” Lemaire states, “We are aiming to make and distribute only what’s necessary, by having less pieces.”
For Lemaire, “A more concise collection pushes us to rethink function in our daily lives, and our new habits, to redefine our needs. It’s an interesting exercise.” The designer adds, “We think a lot about the concept of a refined wardrobe: each piece should have an exact function, being of use on its own but also working together by layering to create new functions.”
This fall, UNIQLO U is placing less emphasis on gender and more on items essential to every wardrobe. Lemaire explains, “We see the garment as an open invitation. It’s more about personality and how an individual will interpret and integrate the garment into their wardrobe than it is about gender.” The collection has many items suitable for any wardrobe; for example, a newly discovered essential might come in the shape of a pullover, a coat, or a t-shirt.
The newest UNIQLO U range, modeled by Robbi Gruendler and Louis Dicko, is supposed to function as a pared-down wardrobe. This concept is something that makes complete sense to Lemaire. According to Lemaire, “We try to be straightforward, with an emphasis on how the piece is cut and how the fabric behaves, to create a simple, high-quality collection with a practical sense of beauty and refined color palette.”
The UNIQLO U collection addresses the current season while providing staples for the foreseeable future. Lemaire explains, “To go straight to the function influences the cuts and details, and it allows for the garment to be versatile; taking on a different role in different looks, for different settings or occasions. The more versatile a garment is, the more timeless it will be.”