Life’s a Beach: tomas maier and UNIQLO


You might not expect a German designer raised in a family of architects and trained in the haute couture tradition to know or care much about beachwear, but then again Tomas Maier has never exactly done what people expect. He’s the same guy who, having designed for some of Europe’s top fashion houses—eight years at Sonia Rykiel, four at Revillon, nine at Hermès—quit his contracts and moved to Florida. To the beach. And he’s been obsessed with it ever since.

In fact, Maier’s eponymous label, which he founded in Florida in 1997, began as a resort line with the idea of “escape” at the centre of its vision. It has since expanded into a full ready-to-wear collection, and the sun-soaked spirit of the beach is never too far away. Even his collections for Bottega Veneta, where he has been creative director since 2001, are known for their sense of ease and relaxed tailoring. “The concept of my brand is…all about clothes for time off—casual, edited, and essential,” says Maier. “The idea of time off refers to casual dressing for a vacation or during your free time. It’s about a frame of mind where the clothes make you feel relaxed even in your everyday life.”

This summer, Maier brings his elevated leisurewear concept to the masses, teaming up with Japanese mega-retailer UNIQLO to create “tomas maier and uniqlo”, its first-ever resort offering. The limited-edition lineup takes simple summer staples (breezy maxi dresses, smart polos, classic maillots) and infuses them with cool vacation vibes via whimsical palm prints and cheery sunset hues. “One aspect of the collection that I feel deserves special mention is the colours,” says Yuki Katsuta, head of research and design at UNIQLO. “At first glance, it may seem easy, but bringing out such extremely fascinating colours and combining them to express various stories is what makes Mr. Maier a top creator.”

Because while summery shades of tangerine, lavender, aqua, and candy apple are certainly appropriate for running errands downtown or sipping mimosas at Sunday brunch, there’s something about the vintage, sun-soaked palette that brings with it the idea of escape—an irresistible sense of a dreamy somewhere else.

The collection is available now in select stores across Canada. Click through the gallery for some of the essentials from the beach-inspired collection.