CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year 2011, New York based Michael Bastian collaborates with fast retail giant UNIQLO features a line of polo shirts that showcase preppy-chic aesthetic at a lower price inspired by the universality of the polo that are stylish riff on the classic. The UNIQLO x Michael Bastian Polo collection consists of 16 polo shirt looks priced at $19.90. In the designer’s words, “I designed this project with myself in mind, like I design everything I do. I really personalize it and always ask myself ‘Would I wear that? Do I want that? Is this something I’ve been looking for a while?’ It really is a personal process, but I’m a man designing menswear, so it’s as good a place to start as any.”
Q & A with Michael Bastian
How did you come to collaborate with UNIQLO?
MB: Uniqlo reached out to me with an interesting concept – to do a designer collaboration together that focused exclusively on one category – the polo. I thought this was a really interesting and unique challenge and I don’t think something like this has been done before, so I jumped at the chance.
What was your inspiration for the collection?
MB: The inspiration really came from that fascinating intersection of American and Japanese tastes in menswear. I believe that sometimes the truest picture of a culture or style movement can come from another culture reflecting it back to them, and that’s exactly what happened with the publication of the book Take Ivy in the 1960s (authored by four Japanese sartorial style enthusiasts) – suddenly this particular moment in American men’s style was documented and cemented in the collective consciousness, and it took the eye of an outsider to see what was unique and special about this style.
Did you design with the UNIQLO customer in mind?
MB: I designed this project with myself in mind, like I designed everything I do. I really personalize it and always ask myself ‘Would I wear that? Do I want that? Is this something I’ve been looking for for a while?’ It really is a personal process, but I’m a man designing menswear, so it’s as good a place to start as any.
How did you choose the prints for the UNIQLO collection?
MB: There are a couple prints in the collection I really love – the were inspired by traditional Japanese bloc print textiles but interpreted in kind of a ‘pop’ way. We have the Lucky Cat symbol, Dragonflies and the cutest of them all, the Shiba Inu – the national dog of Japan.
The Michael Bastian x Uniqlo Summer 2013 Polo Collection will be available in stores and online starting May 20th 2013.