“Functionality + Universality; It’s how the future dresses”
For those of you who don’t know, UNIQLO is a magical clothing company. It’s kind of the Japanese version of H&M, with a dash of American Apparel prep: a veritable goldmine of cotton basics. UNIQLO focuses its clothing style on comfort in every realm. The brand covers all styles of clothing, from more formal slacks and button ups to just plain t-shirts. They also post a broad color palette that a lot of stores lack, with some of their selections being offered in more then 36 different colors. Never before have cotton basics felt so good. There’s something about the Japanese style that gives the clothes an extra sort of edge which a lot of other stores lack.
The brand itself is very, very new, especially in terms of the American clothing market. The first store opened in New York City’s SOHO district less than five years ago. The second and third stores opened less than 6 months ago, in Fall 2011. One is near Times Square, a smart move given the constant stream of tourists in the area. The other is located on 5th Avenue, near the Museum of Modern Art - a gigantic flagship store that's three stories tall, and each level is like its own labyrinth. The term "flagship" was important and monumental; it meant that UNIQLO was establishing a crucial corporate base in the U.S. But that was it for the American locations. The rest of the store locations are all over Asia, in Russia, the United Kingdom, and France. Thankfully, that’s all about to change.
According to a press release on their website, UNIQLO plans to expand and open a large (we’re talking 29,000 sq. ft.) flagship (!!!) store in Union Square. And, to make matters even more exciting, the store is expected to open in Fall 2012. In regards to the expansion, Fast Retailing Chairman, President & CEO Tadashi Yanai said that UNIQLO is looking to better establish its presence in the U.S. markets. For those of you who already know and love the brand, strap on your shopping boots and get ready. For those of you who don’t, you’re in for a treat. Be wary though, because your first trip is going to be overwhelming. You might need a map.
Ryan Roschke is currently a reporter for BARE Blog. An eternal optimist, he is an avid proponent of food, fashion, music, movie, and culture. Special emphasis on food.