Designer Maiko Kurogouchi On UNIQLO X Mame Kurogouchi Collab | CoolJapan

The best collaborations deserve an encore — and that’s exactly what we’re getting with the UNIQLO X Mame Kurogouchi Autumn/Winter 2021 collection that’s launching on 3 December.

Women wearing comfortable innerwear and loungewear from UNIQLO

UNIQLO and Mame Kurogouchi second collection is here.

The two brands first came together earlier this year to create comfortable loungewear clothing that are polished enough to also be worn outside the home. Designer Maiko Kurogouchi’s love for minimalist and easy-to-style silhouettes is applied to UNIQLO’s affordable yet high-quality LifeWear pieces that use 3D knit technology and made with AIRism (items with breathable fabrics). This same winning formula is at the heart of their latest offering: a collection of exquisitely designed cosy and warm innerwear that enhance feminine curves.

Woman in black one-piece loungewear

Expect more chic pieces to come your way.

Curious about how these chic pieces are made and how you can style them? We chatted with Maiko Kurogouchi to know more about her inspiration and creative process, what it’s like to work with UNIQLO and more.

What inspired you to create a collection that will seamlessly transition between innerwear and clothing?

“I sense that I became accustomed to the rhythm of daily life during the pandemic. With this collaboration and the main Mame Kurogouchi collection, I made a particular point of creating comfortable clothing. Wearing the items over the past year has given me the opportunity to think more about the fit and comfort than the designs themselves. I was able to think a lot about what innerwear does for women under the items they layer over it.”

Woman in grey bra top dress

Pieces can be styled to transition from innerwear to clothing.

How were you able to determine what kind of clothing pieces would work for this theme?

“With this collection, I wanted to celebrate the apparel cuts and the beauty of women’s bodies that coexist with the gentle curves of nature. I also wanted to make the collection accessible to women the world over. Having offered innerwear in the first season, we wanted to keep offering it because I think continuity is important. We slightly updated the cuts of some items from the first season to make the lineup even more sophisticated and beautiful.”

Why did you choose to work with an understated monochromatic palette for this collection?

“A key component of this collaboration is that the colours remain simple, basic and easy to style. For the Fall/Winter collection, I imagined a colour palette based on warm grey tones that would go beautifully with any layered style in winter.”

Woman wearing black bra and black knit pants

Cool, understated tones make it easy to style.

Construction-wise, what special materials are used for the pieces in this collection that make them perfect for the theme?

“I like using UNIQLO's 3D knit technology to work on a simple turtleneck knit design that hugs the body three-dimensionally. In view of significant differences between outdoor and indoor temperatures in winter these days, we employed AIRism cotton fabric to maintain comfort even in winter, as layering items causes perspiration.”

Comfortable black underwear

Comfortable fabrics are used to adapt to different temperatures.

The collection is mainly made with cool weather in mind. How can ladies living in the tropics incorporate these pieces into their wardrobes for the warm weather? Which piece from the collection is the most versatile when it comes to styling for the tropics?

“During the cold months, we layer clothes and bundle up to stay warm, but once we enter a heated room, we find ourselves perspiring. My hope was to create a line of innerwear that can be worn under sweaters and cardigans, but also functions beautifully as clothes. My belief is that innerwear can be versatile, allowing for wider styling options. That is the aim of this collection and what I mean when I say ‘seamless transition.’

I designed the turtleneck knit for coordinating when tucked in or untucked. When the piece is tucked in, your arms and wrists look slender and delicate. Untucked, the curve of the hem flatters the hips beautifully. Worn by itself or layered, this item will work very well with your wardrobe.”

Woman wearing UNIQLO turtleneck

The versatile turtleneck is a styling must-have.

Why did you decide to collaborate with UNIQLO for another collection? What do you like best about working with the brand?

I have been very fortunate to contribute to women’s lifestyles through innerwear. I consider it important to keep making the collection more beautiful and comfortable for women through minor updates that add confidence to their days. Diversity underpins the entire UNIQLO and Mame Kurogouchi collection. We aimed to create LifeWear for all women everywhere.

Look out for the launch of UNIQLO X Mame Kurogouchi Autumn/Winter 2021 limited capsule collection at UNIQLO outlets in Singapore on their website.