Last week I travelled to New York, not only to (re)discover how amazing this buzzing city is, but also to fall in love with the brand values of the ‘slowest fast fashion chain in the world’.
To really understand the Uniqlo culture, one must visit a store.
If that store is on Fifth Avenue in New York, you are lucky to find yourself in the creative midst of the fashion powerhouse founded by Tadashi Yanai in 1984.
Being one of Japan’s richest men, Tadashi views Uniqlo as “a technology company… not a fashion company” supporting innovation, customer experience, diversity, sustainability & much more.
Rather than following trends, UNIQLO focuses on LifeWear.
This is LifeWear.
Who you are, what you believe in: that’s what you wear everyday. And that is what we make clothing for. Welcome to a new way of apparel. Apparel that comes from our Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. Designed to be of the time and for the time. Made with such modern elegance that it becomes the building blocks of your style. Simple apparel with a not-so-simple purpose: to make your life better.
“There is a simplicity and a practicality to the clothes that is very Japanese.”
Urban basics of good quality like cashmere jumpers, denim jeans and T-shirts in any color are the core products. Known for its minimalist, understated aesthetic, UNIQLO believes that individuality comes not from clothes, but from the people wearing them. Instead of prescribing style or dictating how people should dress, they empowes you to mix and match to suit your own style.
This is already different, but wait till you discover the other reasons why UNIQLO is winning.
• Uniqlo brands its signature innovations like AIRism (light breathable fabric) & HeatTech (warmth clothing)
• They deliver good quality (especially the denim and cashmere sweaters are great)
• Their low cost operation is based on their ownership of the design, manufacturing and distribution network + they only have a limited array of designs (which they improve season after season) making it cheaper to produce
• Uniqlo distributes recycled clothing, donating already more than 15million items to refugee camps around the world
• Since 2012 they introduced ‘Free Friday Nights at MOMA’ making art accessible for everyone. They also invite each last saturday of the month 50 kids from the shelters and go with them to the museum as the start of an art-inspired day
• Instead of stealing designs, they work together, giving young potential designers a platform in their stores
• Uniqlo started out as a unisex clothing brand
• The staff is beyond friendly & trained (maximum 60 seconds per transaction is allowed, jeans must be precisely folded up twice lengthwise, shopping bags are returned to customers Japanese style, with two hands and etc..)