Fast Retailing, the company that owns GU and UNIQLO, among others, has ensured the latter company’s ongoing success in no small part to a series of limited edition drops marketed as exclusive collaborations or affordable designer collections, not to mention the relative quality of UNIQLO’s affordable basics. GU, originally imagined as a UNIQLO spin-off, hasn’t enjoyed nearly as much international success as its sibling label, but that hasn’t stopped it from following the formula, as evidenced by its new joint effort with UNDERCOVER.
GU has previously worked with domestic fashion brands including SOPH. and popular franchises like Evangelion, even ensnaring current Dior Men’s creative director Kim Jones for a series of drops in 2018. However, the brand’s strength primarily lies in its trendy wearables and especially low pricepoints, making it more attractive for an even younger demographic than UNIQLO and a competitor to cost-effective companies like WEGO. GU’s collaborations often elevate its core offering of youthful designs and the UNDERCOVER partnership is no different, tapping Disney for some thematic graphics alongside UC staples.
35 individual pieces were designed for this collection, including Mickey Mouse-printed pajamas and a cost-effective take on UNDERCOVER designer Jun Takahashi‘s signature leather rider’s jacket. Informed by one of the Japanese brand’s themes of duality (“FREEDOM/NOISE”), various text prints grace tees, totes and iPhone cases, while UNDERCOVER applies Maleficent-themed apple motifs to a variety of shirts, track pants and even underwear.
Elsewhere, Takahashi repurposes his fascination with militaria into field shirts and camouflaged sets, complemented by flight pants and leather shoes. Zippered details reinforce the high-spec motif.
GU’s STYLE STUDIO in Harajuku will hold an early look at the UNDERCOVER collection on April 5. The goods then hit GU’s web store and Japanese outposts on April 9. Everything in the lineup weighs in from ¥590 JPY to ¥6,990 JPY ($5 USD to $63 USD).
Most recently, UNDERCOVER showed its Fall/Winter 2021 collection in Tokyo, the brand’s first domestic showcase in nearly two decades.