Carine Roitfeld for Uniqlo

Shirt available here

It seems appropriate, if a little delayed, to post about this collaboration which slipped under the radar somewhat after being overshadowed by the recent H&M Balmainia. Former editor of French Vogue magazine Carine Roitfeld recently collaborated with high street brand Uniqlo to produce a capsule collection very much inspired by her own Parisian and fairly rock & roll style. Launching on 29 October, it has pretty much now sold out but there are a few pieces left on the website (here) and it is also available in selected London branches of Uniqlo (details on the website)

I like Uniqlo as a brand because they often do collaborate with designers and celebrities, but usually of the lesser known, slightly left field variety. A collection with French muse Ines de la Fressange was so well received it has been ongoing, with a couple of collections since launched. They have also worked with brands such as Jil Sander and print designer Celia Birtwell.

Prices are also relatively attainable; the silk leopard print blouse above came in at around £60 and a tee was around £15. Even the small faux leather box bag was about that price. Compared with the prices H&M charged for the Balmain collection, it seems almost cheap, but having bought from Uniqlo in the past the price doesn't reflect on quality which I've always found to be very good.

I didn't buy into the collection for a couple of reasons; firstly I am adhering to the non-shopping rules of my capsule wardrobe and secondly, even if I'd wanted something I wasn't quick enough to snap it up! I would probably have bought all the pieces I've shown above but they quickly sold out and a search of eBay pulls up page after page of listings; albeit not at the super inflated prices that Balmain for H&M prices are commanding.

I've read with interest the media coverage on the Balmain launch and it really seems that shopping habits have barely changed at all since designer collaborations took hold of the highstreet. In this post back in 2012 I wrote about my disappointment at the amount of Marni for H&M on eBay, and without seeming naive I still feel it's a pity that so much is bought by touts to resell. I can't deny the attraction; hours after Balmain launched in H&M (and subsequently sold out) key pieces from the collection were bid up to £7k on eBay. Now surely, if you've got £7k to drop on a dress that retailed for £199, you could go an invest in a piece of the mainline Balmain collection? 

I understand that the point of a designer collaboration is to allow the chance to purchase a piece of designer product for a fraction of the usual cost, but I wonder how many of the people that bought into this collection were actually fans of Balmain and wanted a piece of that name in their wardrobe? Personally, it wasn't for me; the styling and designs weren't my cup of tea but to each their own.

What do you think about designer/high street collaborations? Have you bought in to them?

XO Amie
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