To celebrate Uniqlo LifeWear in 2016, It’s Nice That has partnered with Uniqlo on New Perspectives. We asked four creatives to cast a Uniqlo garment of their choosing in a new light. With ingenuity and technical flair, the results have seen artist Nick Veasey, designer Jesse Auersalo, digital artist Thomas Traum, and photographer Rebecca Scheinberg all represent Uniqlo’s LifeWear philosophy in new and unexpected ways. The project is an exploration of how Uniqlo approaches clothing year on year by championing modern design details and innovating the most everyday of garments.
This article is the second of a four-part series
“Whatever I design, I tend to design for myself,” says Jesse Auersalo. “It’s only natural. I wouldn’t create something that I don’t understand myself.” The Helsinki-based artist, illustrator and art director had no problem when choosing a Uniqlo garment to base his commission on, he simply applied self-reference as his creative rule. “I’m from Finland, I wear thermals all the time. It was easy for me to choose.”
As Jesse considered the brief for New Perspectives, he became fascinated by the HEATTECH technology within the clothing and how the fabric mediates between the body and the world. His concept began with thoughts about how fabric is structured and how this can be communicated by abstracting and animating what is happening on the micro scale. “I wanted to take the viewer on a psychedelic trip that explores shape, texture and the human form,” he says. “I had a really clear idea of what I wanted to achieve.”
The film was produced with a team of seven with Jesse acting as creative director. For this project he worked with the creative communications agency Miltton and its production team including a storyboard artist, a director, producer, a cameraman, an editor, music producer and model. “I created the team and started a discussion about what I wanted to achieve. Working with moving images I know I am not capable to deliver the work by myself, so first we had to establish trust in the idea,” he says.
Jesse sought to express the elements acting on the body and ‘second skin’ of the fabric, but has inverted the relationship, so that the forces appear to come from within the wearer. “The fabric and embedded technology is the divide between the cold world and the warm body. We are trying to show the world coming through this layer,” he says. “The forces acting on us – warm, cold, sound, air. Everyone has some experience of this, so I drew on that, then add some things stronger more abstract ideas then lose control and start to explore the idea in a more intense way and maybe lose all control before revealing the garment itself.”
“The fabric and embedded technology is the divide between the cold world and the warm body. We are trying to show the world coming through this layer.”
The garment Jesse decided to interrogate was the Mens HEATTECH Long Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt. His fascination with how the clothing performs has resulted in an affection for the innovative fabric and the way it performs and protects the body. “There are things that we can’t see but can feel, but we have to trust technology,” he says. “Technology takes care of it.”
The idea at the heart of all of Uniqlo’s clothing is LifeWear – clothes that make your life better. Style doesn’t have to be superficial; it can keep you warmer, cooler, drier. Uniqlo create LifeWear by evolving the ordinary, producing innovations big and small that benefit you every day.