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Your Favorite Japanese Brand For Affordable Basics Just Got A Fancy Upgrade

Prepare to visit its stores more than usual.

Uniqlo, the Japanese casual wear retailer we love for relaxed tees and quality denim, just went one step further. According to Business of Fashion, ex-Hermès designer Christophe Lemaire has been appointed as the new artistic director of Uniqlo’s Paris-based research and design center. He will also present a new line, Uniqlo U, at—get this—Haute Couture Week in July, AND it will be available in stores late this year.

If a super posh designer at the helm of this relatively affordable clothing brand worries you (like, are prices going to be jacked up now?), it shouldn’t. "'The best of the most at the least'—that’s how I think of it," Lemaire explained of the new partnership. "Japan has an amazing sense of precision and honesty in the quality. Even the simplest thing will be the best quality, regardless of price."

So just what should eager consumers expect from Uniqlo U? Elevated basics, for one. Count on things to be very wearable—think simple, quality designs you won’t have a problem introducing to your wardrobe.

Said Lemaire, "Our ambition is to fill the gap between what’s fashion and what’s 'normal.' I know the word 'normcore' is overused, but there’s something about normality I find very interesting—how do you make it super normal but refined and cool and desirable?"

Sounds like something we'd totally love, to be honest.

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