So, what’s the big deal? For us who have been hoarding on our travels are beyond giddy with excitement. For those who don’t know the brand and can’t understand why we are obsessed …well, be ready! This is more than a fashion label.
The company considers itself a “Lifewear” brand. That is, clothes for life. Pieces that fit your lifestyle. It’s not about trends but about technology and culture. This is not throw away fashion but it is about high quality and affordability.
When the newly appointed Canadian COO, Yasuhiro Hayashi, was asked why it took so long for the company to open in Canada, he told the media that it was very much a customer driven demand that made them look to the great north. Voices were heard from Canadians that they wanted UNIQLO to be here so they’ve been doing their research and felt it was time to open.
UNIQLO decided to make the move to Canada with two stores initially opening this coming Fall. It’s no surprise that they chose Yorkdale Shopping Centre and the Eaton Centre for their first two locations.
Hayashi started working with UNIQLO Tokyo in 2000, as a store manager candidate and sixteen years later he’s now in charge UNIQLO Canada. Since 2009, he’s actually been involved with the company’s expansions including Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. He started to create the team for Canada in 2015.
“UNIQLO has a very unique concept called ‘lifewear’ that is simple apparel with a purpose to make your life better. The clothing works for you,” said Hayashi at the first official Canadian media preview of the Fall 2016 line.
UNIQLO explained that they will start off with the core collections including cozy knits, warm (outerwear) and office wear “smart casual”. The company’s most popular lines including the much loved HeatTech collection of base layer wear will also be included.
The company’s corporate culture was also mentioned during the media preview. “It’s something we take very seriously. We want to make life better and a better place,” said Hayashi. “It’s not just about selling apparel but we also collect clothes and donate them so there’s lots of things that we do. We are here to be a better citizen not just in Canada but globally because at the end of the day our customers care about how we can all be better citizens.” Go through their company website and you can see the different ways they help and give back to those in need.
UNIQLO also works with local as well as internationally known artists through collaborations that always fly off the shelves. These have included Basquiat, Keith Haring, KAWS and many more.
The two new stores opening this Fall in Toronto will join UNIQLO’s more than 1500 stores in 16 markets globally including Japan, Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and the U.S..
We can’t wait!
UPDATE: UNIQLO has confirmed CF Eaton Centre opening date as Friday, September 30, 2016. Yorkdale store will open on Thursday, October 20, 2016.