The new +J Jill Saunders low-priced fashion line debuted today at the Uniqlo stores in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Japan and a few other places around the globe. I’ve alway admired the style and tailoring of Jil Saunders’ garments. Her clothese usually retail at high-end retailers like Saks, Nordstrom and Neimans. Occasionally I’ll find a Jil Saunders garment at Loehmann’s or a consignment store. So, it’s really disappointing that Jil Saunders did a discount/bridge clothing range but it was not accessible to all. I knew that we had no Uniqlos in the US except in New York, but I never expected to see the lines stretching around the Uniqlo store out onto the street in Soho on Twitterpic. My friends could not even get close to the stuff. I understand it was sold out in London, Paris and New York within one hour of the store opening. Shoppers reported that the +J line was not only affordable, but well made and good looking. The Moment Blog at The New York Times reports, “All in all, the collection lived up to Sander’s intention to bring quality basics to the masses — not always the result when high-end designers create lines for mass chains.”
A few of the items are already turning up on eBay at inflated prices. However, there are not that many listings on eBay for +J. It’s not like the hundreds of listing for the Anna Sui Target collection. So far the people who bought this stuff are keeping it.
How ironic that the ads for the Jil Saunders +J line at Uniqlo stated that the clothing line offered, “Quality for the people” yet accessibility was never mentioned. I’m still waiting for the day when the budget lines are available and stocked in the stores for a season. It seems absurd that the lines like +J at Uniqlo, Matthew Williamson for H&M and others are sold out in a matter of minutes or even an hour. The budget designer lines are being produced in low quantities to create the same kind of scarcity/shortage of goods that the Hermes Birkin bag once provoked. Its the same phenomenon of fearing that you must get in line, or on the wait list, in order to get that precious item or poof it will be gone.
The democratization of fashion has begun, but clearly there is still a long way to go.
If you’re reading and you saw or bought a Jil Saunder item today at Uniqlo, leave a comment and let us all know what you thought. Was your wait in a long line worth it?