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Why Uniqlo is Always Collaborating With the Brits

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Looks by Celia Birtwell via WWD
This March, Uniqlo is rolling out another designer collaboration, this time with Celia Birtwell, a British designer known for her prints. Uniqlo can add Birtwell to the list of UK designers like Orla Kiely and Lulu Guinness that the Japanese company taps to kick up their basics. Yuki Katsuta, senior vice president at Fast Retailing Group, notes an extra benefit, telling WWD that "In our experience, British designers are popular worldwide, which has helped us."

Using prints is also an easy way to outsource the fashion part of Uniqlo's tech first, fashion second ethos, and, as Katsuta pointed out, prints "are part of British tradition and history, which has a strong sensitivity toward gardens, flowers, colors and patterns." Birtwell opened up her archive for the collaboration, slapping everything from the "Jacobean" to the "Cherry Pet Spot" on dresses, T-shirts, tunic vests and tote bags. Prices range from about $15.50 for a tote to $46.90 for a dress, and the collab will land first in the UK before spreading to stores worldwide as well as online.
· Uniqlo Joins With Celia Birtwell [WWD]
· Is Uniqlo Having a Fashion Identity Crisis? [Racked]
· Uniqlo Continues US Expansion, Nabs Exec From Forever 21 [Racked]