From dopamine to Maillard, the end of the Little Red Book trend is Uniqlo

No matter how fashion reincarnates, basic styles are always timeless.

As a basic brand for men, women, and children, most of Uniqlo's clothes are perfect and easy to wear.

But it is also becoming more and more fashionable. It not only has single products such as Xiaoxiangfeng and hot girl T, but can also be freely matched with the colors of spring and summer dopamine and autumn and winter Maillard.

As a mediocre believer in basic styles, when I was invited to participate in this year’s autumn and winter new product salon, it was Uniqlo, which seemed not so fashionable, and taught me a lesson about fashion.

Basic fashion rules

Some people say that Uniqlo is "a preparatory school for matching clothes." The good thing about basic styles is that anyone can wear them, but whether they can be worn to be outstanding depends on the Eight Immortals crossing the sea, each showing his or her magical powers.

Xiaohongshu’s UNIQLO dressing guide contains many unspoken rules. You need to look good when taking selfies in the mirror. Posture and accessories are very important. Dopamine should be worn with socks, and berets should be worn in college style. The main focus is to dress lively. It is difficult to replicate. A little high.

But in the salon, the fashion rules shared are always combined with a specific scene, which is more down-to-earth and pragmatic.

The high-waisted short hot girl T-shirt is not limited to slim figures and mid-summer seasons. It can also be worn as an inner layer in autumn and winter. Wear a striped shirt outside and a flared skirt with a belt to look very elegant. If the weather is colder, you can also wear it with a sweater.

A light and cool short camisole, paired with a mountaineering jacket and overalls with drawstrings at the waist, will make you look cool. If you put on an umbrella skirt, you can look like an urban woman.

▲ Salon scene.

It’s the same basic combination of a shirt and a T-shirt, but different fabrics and styles convey different overall dressing feelings.

The flannel shirt is more gentle and modest, the slub cotton shirt is more Zen-like, the UT joint model reveals the two-dimensional identity, and the U series solid color T-shirt pays attention to the silhouette and high-end sense.

On the day of the salon, Wu Pinhui, chief marketing officer of UNIQLO Greater China, was also there. She wore a satin shirt and a T-stage accordion skirt from the latest designer collaboration series UNIQLO: C.

While Wu Pinhui talked about Uniqlo's insights into consumer trends in the past six months, she also took the trouble to introduce the details of her and the models' clothing.

▲ T-stage organ skirt.

The shirt she is wearing does not wrinkle, so it is easy to take care of. The style is suitable for business occasions, but it has a feminine design and is not particularly rigid. Although she wears a skirt this time, she actually prefers to wear it with jeans and a Wear sneakers.

This is what Wu Pinhui considers to be a "sense of relaxation". The same clothes can be shuttled between work and life through different combinations and ways of wearing them, while retaining the freedom of "not having to iron clothes".

We hope that clothing can allow everyone to achieve a better balance… Maybe a product can be both what it is and what it is. By stacking a single product or wearing it in different scenes, more product value can be extended. .

Not just in the salon, UNIQLO has always been passionate about teaching people how to dress. From models in shopping malls to online Weibo, a pair of versatile pleated pants can teach you three ways to wear them for white-collar workers, hot girls, and royal ladies.

▲ Picture from: UNIQLO Weibo

In addition to the universal dressing formula, the fashion of the item itself is of course also important. Fashion is a circle. Some designs last forever, while some trends change rapidly.

Every clothing brand should consider how to appropriately use popular elements. This is a market rule, and Uniqlo is no exception. If it is just a basic model all year round, it will not always attract the attention of young people.

Therefore, Uniqlo also pursues fashion, but in a more clever way, combining popular elements with basic models, packaging and upgrading basic models into fashionable products with new trends, and broadening the product boundaries of basic models.

In a previous interview with Aifaner, Wu Pinhui mentioned that after the epidemic, everyone is pursuing general health, that is, they are pursuing a more active lifestyle in terms of basic necessities, food, clothing, housing and transportation. They hope to be happy easily, be more pragmatic in terms of clothing, and at the same time be more relaxed. Pursue beauty.

It is reflected in the products, that is, the preference for colorful colors. This spring and summer beauty sun protection clothing has more than 10 colors, which are brighter and more lively. Wu Pinhui also bought a complete set of purple sportswear and sun protection clothing.

Another example is the Hot Girl T-shirt launched this spring and summer. It does not break away from the core of the basic model, but adjusts the size, version and fit to become tighter, shorter and more youthful.

▲ Picture from: UNIQLO Weibo

Fashion is not necessarily the biggest feature of a product, but, like the quality, comfort, and affordability that UNIQLO has always emphasized, it has become an indispensable part of the product as well as a necessary and insufficient condition.

This is the "sense of balance" that Uniqlo hopes to achieve. Ultimately, it will make a certain piece of clothing feel better when worn and be worn by more people.

There is no right or wrong way to dress, but the need for convenience, freedom, and decency is always there. Even if it is difficult to become a trend-setter that will amaze everyone, at least you can achieve a clean visual effect. This is the fashion most relevant to daily life.

People are the protagonists, clothing can only be a supporting role

When it comes to fashion, haute couture designers may have the most say.

There is a famous line in "The Devil Wears Prada" that says fashion is from top to bottom, from haute couture gowns and luxury goods series to high-end stores and cheap streets, before a certain style spends its complete life.

Uniqlo's designer collaboration series may be one of Uniqlo's most design-conscious series, but they are not superior, but also follow Uniqlo's values ​​of "clothes suitable for life."

Christophe Lemaire, the former creative director of Hermès and responsible for the Uniqlo U series, is one of them. When designing clothes for Uniqlo, he concealed his name. It was not Uniqlo X Lemaire, but just the U series.

▲Uniqlo U 2023 spring and summer series designed by Christophe Lemaire.

When the concept of "buying Hermès clothes at Uniqlo prices" became popular, he emphasized the practicality and daily life of the U series again and again, treating practical details as the business card of the U series. When talking about the design concept of this spring and summer U series, Lemaire said:

We spent a lot of time focusing on the placement and construction of pockets, drawstrings and other modular elements… We wanted everything to be designed for use. Simple, high quality, with a functional aesthetic.

UNIQLO: C, launched on September 15, is UNIQLO's latest designer collaboration series, which is called "a new chapter in UNIQLO women's clothing."

Clare Waight Keller, the British designer who manages the C series, has served as the artistic director of Chloé and Givenchy, and has also made wedding dresses and haute couture dresses for the British royal family and celebrities.

▲ British designer Clare Waight Keller.

In an interview with Uniqlo, the designer mentioned that she hopes that each item can have a comfortable and comfortable fit.

She pays attention to overall tailoring and also cares about small details, such as the adjustable armholes of jackets and the drawstrings of dresses, all to create a casual and casual feel.

I pay a lot of attention to overall uniformity, it's all about creating an effortless wardrobe, and I don't want to worry about matching in front of the mirror!

It can be seen that Lemaire and Clare have subtle similarities when working with Uniqlo. Uniqlo told Ai Faner that there are indeed several basic principles for choosing designer co-branding.


First of all, the designer must have a very strong specialization in a certain aspect.

For example, Lemaire does a very good job with fabrics and tailoring techniques. British designer JW Anderson is good at bringing British elements such as palace style and academic style into Uniqlo's fabrics, which will also have a more youthful feel.

The originality of the designs of these designers will be magnified in several categories of Uniqlo. Not every style may be a hit, but each style can gain a group of consumers who like them very much.

▲ JW Anderson x UNIQLO 2023 Spring and Summer Series.

Secondly, the co-branding is not only to satisfy the designers who want to make different things, but also to integrate the spirit of the UNIQLO brand with the designers, maintain a certain mass appeal in the design, and make the price as accessible as possible. All affordable.

Therefore, although successful designers have a halo over their heads, when they cooperate with Uniqlo, they design clothes that are suitable for daily wear by as many people as possible, rather than leaving fashion only for T stages and fashion weeks.

In Wu Pinhui's view, cooperation with top designers exactly reflects the "inclusiveness" of Uniqlo as a clothing brand.

Every brand has reasons for premium, some are emotional reasons, some are logo reasons, but Uniqlo does not want to over-amplify a certain designed logo, but rather the designer’s design is given to you, allowing you to write it in your own way. style.

▲ Uniqlo’s cross-body bag was rated as the hottest fashion item in the first quarter of 2023 by the fashion platform Lyst.

Based on the premise of "fitting into life", UNIQLO is all-encompassing but never deviates from its roots. If we could simply explain the essence of "fitting life" in one sentence, it would be "you wear clothes, not clothes wear you."

In other words, people are the protagonists, and clothing can only be a supporting role. It exists based on people's real needs and should be integrated into people's lives without any trace, even if it is in the name of a designer, there is no difference.

Fashion does not have to be a lifestyle, but it must be a part of life

The movie "Fight Club" says that your job doesn't represent you, your bank balance doesn't represent you, the car you drive doesn't represent you, the things in your wallet don't represent you, and your clothes don't represent you, you are just one of the ordinary beings. One of the.

Even so, clothing is still the most conspicuous way of expression, showing a certain state of our lives. Fashion is not a castle in the air. It grows out of life and then takes root in life.

Every year, UNIQLO researches insights related to consumers’ lives now and in the next few years. If we talk about this year, one of the things is that people are increasingly returning to offline and physical events, paying more attention to the surrounding environment.

Shen Conle, head of the New First-tier Cities Research Institute of China Business News, believes that physical and spatial contact is compensation for uncertainty. Everything from the life and death of a store to the touch of a certain piece of clothing can be felt more clearly offline.

Although I was pretty sure what my size was, I was really unsure when Uniqlo’s hot girl style came out and I had to try it offline. An entity like this gives you all the certainty.

Fashion columnist Chris also loves to visit physical stores. He lives in Chengdu, a city that is popularly known as a smoky city.

The so-called fireworks atmosphere is actually an atmosphere where people can share and communicate. He often visits physical stores with friends to avoid missing out on new products, and also observes how designers' ideas and fashionable trends are displayed through the windows.

In Wu Pinhui's view, physical stores satisfy everyone's extension of scenes and life emotions outside of work. It is not only a certain "what you see is what you get", but also a space that inspires people to dress, and may bring unexpected surprises.

You may only look at a shirt or skirt that doesn’t look good when you put it on, and you’ll realize that its pleated parts and waist-shrinking proportions suit you very well.

So in Uniqlo, you must try more, because even if it is the same piece of clothing, the style will evolve every year. After trying it, you will know what is suitable for you.

In an uncertain environment, the desire for certainty is not limited to the surroundings, but appears randomly in certain needs in life, and then the desire is solved.

Industrial or product design should deal with life problems as much as possible, which naturally includes the design of clothing.

Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo and chairman, president and CEO of Fast Retailing Group, once said that Uniqlo is not essentially a clothing manufacturing company, but a technology company, and its only competitor is Apple. Not to mention whether the comparison is reasonable, but the technology and design that Apple is good at are indeed valued by Uniqlo in different ways.

From the warm polar fleece at the end of the last century, to the later AIRism cooling series, HEATTECH thermal underwear, and the liner-less light down that refuses to be bulky, UNIQLO's technological fabrics serve life and are upgraded because of life.

Observing the popularity of light outdoor activities, the AIRism series, which once focused on cooling underwear, has extended to categories such as tank tops, sun protection clothing, leggings, dresses, etc.; autumn and winter down jackets, in addition to being light, warm, portable, waterproof, and anti-static, It also has an easy-to-decontaminate function. If it gets stained by juice or oil outdoors, you can wipe it with a wet wipe and it won't leave stains easily.

Therefore, what technology gives people is actually a sense of certainty in life. Clothes should not be limited to a certain function or style. It should be able to switch between a variety of scenes so that people don’t have to worry about a lot of extra things. As Wu Pinhui said:

In uncertain cross-scenarios and environments, it is important for clothes to bring certain emotional value.

At the salon, the host Xu Shiyu, editor-in-chief of the Golden Signature Project of China Business News, also mentioned an interesting example.

With UNIQLO's warm HEATTECH, quick-drying AIRism, and light down outer kit, a southerner can go skiing in the north, and all the remaining equipment can be rented at the ski resort. Suitable clothes allow you to travel lightly and walk happily.

Clothing is made for people's lives, not just for good looks or comfort. It may also bring inspiration to life. When you have an extra piece of clothing, things may become simpler or new possibilities may arise.

Wu Pinhui talked a lot about life trends, product design, brand concepts and other concepts in the salon, but in the end she also gave a summary of Uniqlo's return to nature.

UNIQLO does not define itself as a complete fast fashion. UNIQLO is a part of fast fashion. Although many people like to describe UNIQLO in terms of lifestyle, it is more of a brand about life.

In the end, the brand should encourage people to explore the essence of human life and life.

While other brands are emphasizing differentiation, Uniqlo’s “Made For All” stands out. Precisely because it is very inclusive, it has wardrobes for the whole family, trendy co-branded short-sleeves and designer series, as well as basic models that will never go out of style. On the contrary, it highlights its uniqueness and irreplaceability in a lot of competition. In an environment of uncertainty, diversity and inclusion are exactly what people need most.

Lifestyles are changing all the time, and some of them may not be worth following. They may look completely different in three years, but people are still living. The more basic it is, the less likely it will be outdated, and the more daily it is, the more people will value it. Perhaps because of this, Uniqlo is likely to exist in part of life.

It is as sharp as autumn frost, and can ward off evil disasters. Work email: [email protected]

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