Alice Roi and Satoru Tanaka’s designs for Uniqlo hit shelves on the Broadway location Friday. The Designers Invitation Project, in a similar vein as Victor...

Alice Roi and Satoru Tanaka’s designs for Uniqlo hit shelves on the Broadway location Friday. 

The Designers Invitation Project, in a similar vein as Victor Rolph for H&M or Proenza Schouler for Target, offer stepped up, well designed basics for the small budget.  It's “chic but affordable” says Trends in Japan.

Diffusion and collaboration lines are popping up everywhere, sometimes resulting in queues several hundred deep and, occasionally, fashion riots.  I had a chance to handle the Tanaka collection; the construction and material are a notch above standard Uniqlo fare and run about 10$ more as well.  You'd think designer blazers for $65 would be flying off the shelves, however, throngs of rabid customers were nowhere to be found during the March 27th release.  Maybe it was the dismal, rainy day that kept the shoppers at bay.  More likely, stateside, people are more inclined to freak over a line backed by a celebrity name than an established designer.

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