Roger Federer Wants To Win A New Game

And despite its flirtation with fashion via collaborations with runway names like Christophe Lemaire, formerly of Hermès, now designer of a namesake line and artistic director of Uniqlo U; Tomas Maier, the recently deposed Bottega Veneta designer who just did a limited-edition resort collection for Uniqlo; and Jonathan Anderson, the conceptual Briton who is also creative director of Loewe, and who has done two special collections for Uniqlo.

Like Jil Sander, the first prominent designer to engage with the brand, all those designers are notably talented but famous largely among fashion insiders and obsessives.

Uniqlo, which is owned by the Japanese giant Fast Retailing (a self-explanatory name if there ever was one), has not been a brand that brought bells and whistles to its partnerships, or that inflated the ego by creating noisy marketing campaigns. It is a brand whose mission has been perfecting the basics: the things people wear not because they fantasize about being elite athletes, or because they fantasize about having the lifestyles of elite athletes, but because they fantasize about having functional clothes to wear every day that don’t cost a huge amount or call attention to themselves, but still look good.

Traditionally, however, being associated with such clothes — which bridge age, size and sectors — has not been the fantasy of elite athletes. So while he won’t hoist the Wimbledon trophy on Sunday (after his upset loss to Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals on Wednesday), Mr. Federer may be about to change the game once again.

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