In an interview with HighSnobiety, White Mountaineering's founder Yosuke Aizawa talks about his brand's collaboration with UNIQLO.
When asked what brought both UNIQLO and Aizawa together, Aizawa said, "I was inspired by UNIQLO’s philosophy of LifeWear and "ultimate everyday wear" – creating clothing that can connect people across generations, races and genders. The collection theme is "outerwear created as a common language for everyone": I wanted to combine the technical design that White Mountaineering is known for with UNIQLO’s LifeWear philosophy. The new collaboration is also the first time White Mountaineering has designed items for children – UNIQLO connecting White Mountaineering with new audiences and possibilities, and White Mountaineering doing the same thing in kind, is exactly what I look for in a mutually beneficial collaboration."
When asked if it was a challenge to match White Mountaneering's aesthetic to fit UNIQLO's, Aizawa said, "The scale of White Mountaineering and UNIQLO are completely different. With White Mountaineering, it is a personal process of figuring out what I like and what details I find interesting in the moment. Whereas for this collaboration, I had to think about how to reach a demographic that knows UNIQLO but not White Mountaineering, such as my friends from my youth, my children, and my wife's friends and colleagues for instance. In other words, I had to figure out how to design, price, and fit the lifestyle of these people, which is something I had never thought about before. From a design point of view, it's a task of adding to the brand what you are pursuing in your own brand. I think about how to integrate it to the extent that people do not recognize whether it is White Mountaineering or UNIQLO."
"The Ultra Light Down oversized jacket is the one that I was most particular about making," said Aizawa about the collaboration's most essential pieces.
"Conventional UNIQLO Ultra Light Down jackets are made of a smooth, shiny material, but we developed a material with a wrinkled finish that gives it a slightly crispy feel. I was very particular about the material. It is easy to wear, easy to move around in, and packable. I think the Fleece Oversized Long Sleeve Jacket is another item that gives you a sense of White Mountaineering's style, in that it combines a military aesthetic with outdoor details. By using boa fleece for the body and sponge fleece for the sleeves, it looks as if it is layered, but it is also designed to allow for ease of movement around the arms. Like this jacket, many of the items in this collaboration can be worn unisex, so I hope people will share the items with their families and partners."
Information originally sourced from HighSnobiety.