When prolific German designer Jil Sander first joined forces with UNIQLO 11 years ago, the two cemented a clear mission: to prove that affordable, everyday fashions can be expertly-designed, too. Fast-forward to 2020: "My design attitude hasn’t changed," said Sander in an official release, when asked about her years-long tenure with the Japanese retailer. "But the world changed a lot." The latest installment of +J, UNIQLO x Jil Sander's ongoing brainchild, maintains its focus on elemental styles, all while equipping the wearer with practical, versatile clothing items that address their shifted reality. "In our times of crisis, we want more essential clothes ... [that] convey our energy to face the world. They need to give us a fresh start."
Launching on Nov. 12, the 36-piece collection comes complete with pinstriped Oxfords, wool dresses, and sumptuous down puffers — all starting at a democratized price point of $49.90. While Sander confirmed that her vision for +J hasn't changed, her approach undoubtedly has. For this iteration, the designer was thinking about each wearer's distinct aura. "In our actual situation of more distanced social relationships, it is important to keep the individual aura of a person well intact." While designing concepts, Sander focused on three-dimensional shapes that encouraged movement, which materialized through "quality fabrics with standing power, interesting weaves, meticulous workmanship and colors which are reduced, clear and becoming," according to Sander.
The collection is understated yet sophisticated, nodding to Sander's design codes and extending them through to UNIQLO's LifeWear philosophy. There's color-blocked roll-necks, with panels made from fine merino wool, cashmere-blended coats with built-in belts for potential waist-cinching, and stretch-cotton chinos — all in a dusky color palette. When asked which pieces Sander would wear, herself, the designer wittingly suggested: all of them. "To me, my design is very personal. I wouldn’t want others to wear clothes I don’t wear myself."
To shop the full collection, browse below. Note: several styles have already started to disappear, so acting quickly is encouraged.
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