On my way to work today, I saw a commuter bus painted white, with red text printed on it. The ad read: From Tokyo to Manila. The Japanese casual wear brand UNIQLO is opening a store in the Philippines, right in Mall of Asia or MOA in Pasay City. The brand's first store in the Philippines will be a 1550-square meter haven of apparel for men and women alike. The UNIQLO store will open its doors on June 15, 2012. If I have time, I'll check it out. :)
According to the UNIQLO website, the brand is a subsidiary of Fast Retailing Co. of Tokyo. The original store was established in 1949 as a men's wear shop. The group soon expanded to become Unique Clothing or UniqClo. The overseas expansion went from Tokyo to China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, UK, US, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and now the Philippines. UNIQLO is similar to the GAP in approach of clothes retailing. Their tag line is: Made for All.
Here are some of their looks:
|Casual and androgynous? Check!|
|Orange and coral? Check!|
|Say Hello to the bratop.|
Innovation seems to drive the brand. One of their campaigns is called UT Project or Unique T-shirt Project. The project wants to enable the everyman and everywoman to express themselves to something as simple as a t-shirt. The UT project's philosophy is: “A T-shirt is more than just a T-shirt. It’s an expression of who you are. Where you’ve been. What you love." To do this, UNIQLO collaborates with various global pop culture icons, including popular artists and musicians. Korean band Big Bang has the top-selling line so far. To celebrate the UNIQLO Philippine store opening, the company is holding a UT Project promo. You can win UT merchandise -- or a trip to Japan -- through UNIQLO's “UT Vote And Win” promo. All you have to do is “like” the UNIQLO Philippines Facebook Fan Page (www.facebook.com/uniqlo.ph). Read more about that in their press release.
The next question to ask? Who will endorse UNIQLO in the Philippines? Here are the UNIQLO brand ambassadors for the Philippines:
Yup, these are Chris Tiu, Iza Calzado, Nikki Gil and Chito Miranda (of Parokya ni Edgar). See more of their photos here.
Is UNIQLO all about t-shirts? No. I've read raves about their jackets too! I can't post photos, so to browse their Spring/Summer 2012 collection, check this online catalog.
Last week, UNIQLO has also started on their US mall campaign. While brands like GAP and Abercrombie & Fitch are planning to close shop in many US malls, UNIQLO believes that they need more mall presence. If you're interested in retail theory (Is there such a thing?) and fashion business ideas, the report is in a New York Times article. For clothing reviews, you can just check the comments section. :)
So, do you own a UNIQLO item? Do you plan to buy when the UNIQLO Mall of Asia (MOA) store opens?