When River Island announced that they are partnering up with Rihanna on a special collection last month, I had a suspicion that there was something bigger behind it. Despite having 300 stores at home and abroad, River Island still isn't as well known internationally as other British high street stores like Topshop. Their partnership with Rihanna, then, sounded like part of a bigger plan to raise their profile international and considering today's reports, it looks like I was on to something.
Today the Independent confirmed that the retailer plans to follow in the footsteps of Topshop by opening their first US store in New York's Manhattan next year. At the moment there's still no word about the exact date but considering that Rihanna's collection for them drops early next year, it's pretty safe to assume that the big opening will coincide with the launch. The only big question now is whether Rih Rih will pose in their shop window, Kate Moss style.
It’s what everyone wants and I resist it because I want to be relevant in my own way.…I try to simplify my ideas and make them more simple but beyond a certain point, the simplification is not a positive thing.…So extracting the essence of a brand so that a brand is just a bow, the brand is just a heart, the brand is just black…everyone would want that. Even the customers would want that. The majority of people want to just sell and probably [Kawakubo] would have found this aspect negative. Because in the end she didn’t want to banalize what she does and almost become a caricature of herself.
When it was revealed that Jil Sander was coming on board to Uniqlo to produce a diffusion line for the Japanese high street retailer, people flocked to stores to get their hands on the Sander's designs before they completely sold out. However, after the success of the first drop, the relationship between the two continued and we all expected that Sander would design for the retailer indefinitely.
However, yesterday the news was revealed that the designer's contractual obligations run only for the next three years. Although this is sad news, we've still got her upcoming autumn/winter 2010 collection to look forward to which drops in stores in early September.
Cut-away designs are the essential detail to wear this year. From Lattice work on jeans and leggings, to cut-out holes on jumpers and bodices there is a style to suit every need. Silver jewellery reminiscent of the 90s will give this look the edge it desires. Alexander Wang is the king of deconstructed glamour but the high street have been quick to follow with some cheaper versions, you could even get your scissors out...
The latest style to invade our wardrobes this season is the menswear trend. From boyfriend blazers and tailored suits, to classic shirts and brogues, it is all about the boy. The easy glamour takes it cue from the laid back style of mens fashion. Chloe's creative director, Hannah MacGibbon says ''the focus is on an effortless and uninhibited attitude with luxurious fabrics borrowed from men's wardrobes.'' Stella McCartney is also known for her love of masculine tailoring, with classic cut blazers and elegant suits being her signature styles. She says ''I like to play on the masculine and feminine and try to find ways to modernise it.''
Having been under the radar for the last few years, Jil Sander is making a well documented comeback designing a menswear and womenswear fall collection for Uniqlo, the Japanese brand better known for the luxe casual wear stocked in its 765 stores world wide.
The collection, due to hit stores on the 1st October, will be priced between £19.50 - £149.50. The collection will undoubtedly be a hit as ' her design asthetic based on classic, luxury of cloth, determined abscence of decoration, clean lines and subdued colour pallet', as described by Hilary Alexander of the Telegraph, will be apparent throughout both collections.
Those hoping to purchase pieces from the collection should be ready to fight for it.
It looks like designers are really catching on to this high street collaboration trend. Lucky for us, Mary Ping decided to collaborate her brand, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, with high street brand Urban Outfitters. What can we expect? A combination of girlie lace blouses, edgy black square frames and graphic print dresses.
The collection is available in stores everywhere on May 9.