Sooo, is anyone shopping Alexander Wang’s collab with Uniqlo?
I have another question: Does anyone remember when J.W. Anderson launched a collaboration with Uniqlo last year? Man Repeller called it “the best collaboration in years,” because we are dramatic and hyperbolic as fuq but I still believe it — primarily because I continue to own every piece I acquired from the collection then (a scarf, a trench coat, one mens crew neck sweater), but also because the way in which that collection was editorialized really brought prospective consumers in. It was a delightful, if not ideal, look at what a delectable autumn feels like, replete with golden light, foliage and cozy scarves, coats and sweaters that would go along great as a visual compliment to The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather.”
It’s also worth noting that it arrived on the heels of several other popular Uniqlo collaborations, like those with Carine Roitfeld, Jil Sander and Christopher Lemaire, not to mention the 2012 J.W. Anderson x Topshop collection, which infamously sold out in hours.
And yet, the response to Alexander Wang’s heattech collab with Uniqlo, out today, has garnered what can be best described as a lukewarm response. The brand’s Instagram has posted all of one video, which accrued a total of 28 comments. Uniqlo’s account rendered half of that. Every garment on site is still available in all sizes. But why the crickets? This shit is good! It might not be sexy in the insouciant, charming way that an elaborate visual story is told with the bells and the whistles and the whistles and the bells, but we’re looking at price-conscious basics that will keep you remarkably warm on the one hand, and feeling cool (evidenced by how the long-sleeve bodysuits are cut, how the tank tops feel less like plain old tank tops and more like designed under- and overwear) on the other. What a contrast, you know? Such paradox!
So what’s the dilly? Perhaps the absence of an effusive response truly is a function of the lack of storytelling. Commerce has become evermore complicated in this generation of perpetual backslashes. An apparel brand can’t just be an apparel brand, it’s also got to be a hospitality experience or a media company or a social network and so forth. This is true for other types of businesses, too, and it’s great to see creative pursuits spill over into territory that has been seen as off-limits until recently, but when a product is good, point blank, should the ancillary stuff matter so much? Perhaps this is just one more way in which our respective relationships with consumption have changed.
Is it fair to say that if a product doesn’t make you feel any sort of way, no matter how functional or useful or approachable it is, you’re just not compelled to have it? What does it take to make you hit “purchase”? If you bought anything from this collab, why? If you didn’t, why?
And finally, do you feel like I am your 4th grade teacher, prompting an essay response in the form of manifold questions?