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It's been almost a year since the blow-out debut of Uniqlo's +J collaboration and since then, the subsequent launches have fluctuated in shopper interest. That is, until today, when it all came full circle and the fans showed up in droves (and in the rain) for the kick off of the fall/winter collection. Judging from the popular interest inside and just common logic, it has to be the outerwear. Jil Sander's signature minimalist yet carefully detailed designs partnered with Uniqlo's super affordable prices are a win-win for everyone.
Since the ladies represented this time around (as compared to the anemic showing at last fall's debut), let's start here. Even before entering the +J inner sanctum, women were clamoring for the coats, which were mostly offered in seasonably appropriate black, grey, navy and camel.
Per usual, the items hanging on racks in the center of the room are for display only and the items for sale are hanging on the wall racks and stacked on tables. Good news: The wool military coat is on hand (it was originally slated for next month) and the structure and detail is really amazing for $189.90. We also admired the super-soft cashmere and wool mid-thigh jacket in black and brown. To be thorough, we checked the tag and blend is in fact 50% wool and 50% cashmere, so for $189.90, that's a pretty good deal for premium knits (especially compared to those poly-whatever blends we usually see).
Staffers were also frantically replenishing the rough-edged wool pea coat, which features a really brilliant detachable button-strap collar design. It's $149.90 in grey, navy and camel. The camel and navy were the standouts—we opted for the perennial navy shade. Speaking of camel, that entire outerwear rack (back right) was being absolutely pillaged throughout the morning.
A sampling of additional womenswear: A sexy black nipped-waist wool jersey dress ($99.90), a black wool fitted jacket with a red mohair collar ($140.90 and also available in other color combos), soft and comfy super slim jeans ($49.90), short lightweight puffy jackets ($129.90), stretch cashmere nylon hooded cardies ($179.90) and light wool scoop neck cable-knit sweaters ($59.90). The hooded duffel coat that looks so great in the ads and the down-lined wool peacoat for women will be released in the next round, which the staffer predicts will launch in two weeks.
Which brings us to menswear. Those lucky guys—they in fact have the aforementioned and coveted premium down-lined wool peacoat at the highest price point of a relatively friendly $229.90. Upon close inspection, the collar detail on that baby is pretty impressive, too.
We also saw an elegant chesterfield wool and nylon blend jacket ($189.90), a natty grey wool blend vest ($59.90 and it looked pretty smooth over a sleek button down), a fitted black blazer with a blue mohair turned-up collar ($189.90), a pinstripe reversible zip front and nylon collar jacket ($179.90), stretch cashmere cardies ($179.90 in blue and black), and skinny straight fit jeans ($49.90, but not as soft as the ladies').
The line for the dressing rooms were about 15 deep this morning, but people were making good use of the mirrors on the wall, too (loved seeing the gentleman angle for space and preen in front of the mirror). As of 8:30am this morning, the line inside the store was about a 50 minute wait. Most likely it'll die off but get crowded again in the afternoon. If you don't want to brave the crowds, don't worry, they will be receiving a new shipment tomorrow. And if you're jonesing for that duffle coat, remember to check Uniqlo's Facebook and Twitter for the drop date of the remaining items.
· Lineblogging: Uniqlo's +J Launch Begins With a Bang [Racked]
· Above the Fray: Inside Uniqlo, +J Is Already Decimated [Racked]