Uniqlo Opens Knitwear Show With Tales of Horizontal Knitting Machines

NEAT KNITS: Don’t take your sweater for granted.
This felt like the underlying message relayed by Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. executives speaking before a crowded room of journalists gathered for a Uniqlo exhibit about knitwear in Paris. People squeezed into the entrance of the show, a wide room covered with dangling wheels of colored wool, the hues arranged like a giant, three-dimensional rainbow.
Held at the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris, the show runs from Wednesday through Saturday. It’s a sort of ephemeral pop-up experience from the Japanese label, which touts the exhibit as its first, as it joins the growing ranks of brands aiming to pull in new consumers by telling people how their stuff is made.
“The Art and Science of LifeWear” features a knitting machine in action, building a sweater dress before the public. It then takes visitors through a life of a sweater through photos, showing inspection stages and the factory hanger system, finishing with the final residue removal, done by hand. Another room is covered with rows of outfits, some outfitted with knit hats, scarves and gloves.
Closing the exhibit is a pop-up shop, complete with a cash register, featuring collaborations with Andrea Crews—airport themed, with sweaters stamped “Paris”

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Uniqlo and Lemaire Have a Winning Weekend Launch

Already committed to making the Uniqlo and Lemaire collaboration more than a one-season wonder, Uniqlo has added production runs for fall in advance of holiday sales.
Lines formed outside Uniqlo’s three Manhattan stores for Friday morning’s launch and some stores sold out of select items by lunchtime, according to Justin Kerr, director of merchandising. There were also lines intermittently throughout the weekend as stock was replenished, and a velvet rope was set up in the SoHo store to keep everyone orderly.
“It was our best example of how high the demand was. With this launch, we put up a special landing page 30 days before. It received such a strong reception from so many different people. We were really excited to see so much engagement before the collaboration started. That carried through to the online sales,” Kerr said. “We launched it at midnight on Thursday, and by 8 a.m. Friday there were very exciting results even in those eight hours when everyone was presumably sleeping. Some must have missed some sleep to order Lemaire.”
Knitwear and outerwear were the strongest categories, with a $ 170 cashmere blended robe coat and a $ 70 cashmere blend square sweater being two bestsellers. An assortment of the 31-piece

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Carine Roitfeld Unveils Uniqlo Line in Paris

FEELING TIGHT: Carine Roitfeld — one of France’s most famous editors and fashion personalities — presented her 40-piece collection with Japanese retail giant Uniqlo to editors and friends on Wednesday during Paris Fashion Week. The line is set to hit stores worldwide on Oct. 28.
“I love the details,” said Roitfeld, grabbing a panther faux fur coat to show off its reversible side. “There are pockets everywhere, including on tight-fitting skirts. It’s a no-brainer but I love it.”
“I am placing an order right away. I am going to start wearing tight-fit skirts,” said Inès de la Fressange, who’s done her fifth collection for the retail giant, and calls Naoki Takizawa, Uniqlo’s creative director her “Japanese twin brother.”
Roitfeld paid tribute to the fellow French style icon: “Our styles are crisscrossing and complementary. A peacoat paired with a pencil skirt, I should have thought about it earlier,” she said with a laugh.
“We have the two most beautiful pearls of Paris,” said Paris-based fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart, referring to Roitfeld and de la Fressange.
“They’re two exceptional French women, with strong personalities: They are both very popular; very different but they have the same values.”
Picart, who counts Uniqlo among his clients, predicts the 179 euros,

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Uniqlo Founder Tadashi Yanai Sends a Message to America

UNIQLO’S AMERICAN DREAM: Presidential candidates aren’t the only ones trying to relay more of a true-blue everyman spirit. Uniqlo founder, chairman and chief executive officer Tadashi Yanai is the latest top brass executive to pen a personal letter as an ad to customers. The black and white two-page spread in the Aug. 6 edition of last week’s New York Times was noticeably starker than the brand’s vibrant colorful campaigns in the past. Save for the red “Dear America” intro, Yanai’s words were colorless, but aimed to convey a warmth just the same. “This country is a place where, if you have something great to offer, you will be embraced. I believed that in 1984 when I opened the first Uniqlo store in Japan with the dream of one day bringing my new idea to the United States.”
Aiming to hit $ 250 million in global sales by 2020, Yanai literally spelled out a few new initiatives including the openings of stores in Boston, Chicago and Seattle. He also explained the company’s name as an abbreviation for Unique Clothing Warehouse, and noted that LifeWear is simple apparel with a not so simple purpose: To make your life better. While not in Yanai’s words, the

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Uniqlo Opening at The Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing, Queens

UNIQLO FINDS A HOME IN QUEENS: Uniqlo has lined up an 8,000-square-foot space at The Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing, Queens. Scheduled to open later this spring, it will be joining a 700,000-square-foot shopping complex that includes such stores as Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Nike Clearance Store, The Children’s Place, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Marshall’s.
With 39 stores across the U.S., the retailer has three more in the works. Slated to open in the fall is a 13,000-square-foot unit at The Bellevue Collection in Seattle and a 10,000-square-foot store at Tysons Corner Center in Tysons Corner, Va., while a 22,000-square-foot unit at the Denver Pavilions in Denver will bow in spring 2016.

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