H&M is the first, I believe, to have collaborated with a well known fashion designer, when it launched a collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 2004. Since then, H&M has been regularly collaborating with known designers to create a limited collection of clothes and accessories that is affordable and sold exclusively from its stores. The latest collaboration was with Jimmy Choo for a line of shoes, accessories and clothes. It was an instant hit, with most of the stores running out of stock in the first few hours. The example of H&M was followed by many other highstreet stores. But one of the most successful collaborations I have seen was the Jil Sander collaboration for Uniqlo, creating a line of clothes for men and women.

Jil Sander was known to the fashion world as a contemporary fashion designer, with a particular trend towards minimalism. With her departure from her own house in 2004, after an ongoing feud with the CEO of the Prada Group, that owned the major stake in the company, Jil Sander was largely withdrawn from the fashion world until 2009, when she created her own fashion consultancy. She was then approached by Fast Retailing from Japan, to design a special line for Uniqlo, named +J.

The line became a hit in the UK, and one of my particularly obsessions. . At the time that the spring-summer line was launched, I was in between jobs and needed to buy additional clothes. Needless to say that most of the clothes I bought was from the +J line. Among the items, the slim fit jeans she designed were excellent – like the ones she designed for her own fashion house, that were known for their best fit, her winter coat was exquisitely made and her range of shirts suited most of my needs. Luckily, Uniqlo introduced a policy with which each individual could only buy one item from each style, avoiding running out of stock from the first day.

I just hope that this collaboration continues for a long time.


[image © LambdaPhage]


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