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Fashion April, 18 2007

Uniqlo T-Shirt Project

A t-shirt is never just a t-shirt when UNIQLO is involved.  This essential wardrobe staple is not just an article of clothing, but also an expression of who you are, how you feel, where you’ve been and what you love.  On April 28th in Harajuku, Tokyo, UNIQLO will launch UT, short for Uniqlo T-shirt – a new store concept designed by UNIQLO creative director Kashiwa Sato whose vision is that of a futuristic convenience store for t-shirts. Each t-shirt style will be displayed on forms in stainless steel display cases, with the individual t-shirts packaged in clear plastic canisters resembling tennis ball cans.  The t-shirts will be stored on open shelves, making the shopping experience truly unique and virtually self-service.  With more than 5,000 square feet of selling space spread out over three floors and a fourth floor gallery space, the UT store will in essence serve as a shrine to this fundamental and favorite article of clothing.

In celebration of the opening of the UT store, UNIQLO has launched the UT Project, a limited-edition collection of t-shirts designed by renowned artists, designers, photographers and musicians including Terry Richardson, Nobuyoshi Araki, Kai Khüne, Bjorn Copeland of Black Dice, Kim Jones, Peter Saville, Gareth Pugh, Solve Sundsbo and many more.  With approximately 1,000 unique t-shirt styles being delivered each year as part of the UT Project from these artists as well as other collaborative efforts such as ECM Records, the Evolution Store in Soho, NY, and many, many others, there is sure to be a style for everyone.
Commencing in April, the t-shirts will be available at the UT store and UNIQLO stores worldwide, with nearly 100 new styles being introduced to the New York global flagship store each month. New Yorkers will also catch a glimpse of the innovative UT packaging through a unique visual display at the Soho Flagship.

With such an innovative concept, who better to shoot the image campaign for the UT Project than acclaimed photographer and visionary Terry Richardson.  The UT campaign will feature recognizable personalities such as model Missy Rayder, actor Michael Pitt, musician Alison Mosshart, and Japanese photographer Keiichi Nitta as well as a group of New York-based up-and-coming artists and future visionaries wearing their favorite UNIQLO t-shirts.  In order to find the rising creative talents featured in the campaign, UNIQLO embarked on a multi-media grassroots search that included canvassing the ultimate “self-expression destination” MySpace.

The complete collection of Richardson’s photographs will be featured in a limited-edition hardcover book printed by DNP (Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd), and will be sold at UNIQLO stores worldwide starting in mid-May.  In addition, a 10-page excerpt from the book will be included in UNIQLO Paper No. 2, UNIQLO’s in-house magazine, which will be in stores at the end of the month.  A select group of images will also be featured in an outdoor campaign, as well as in UNIQLO stores worldwide, including an exhibit on the 4th floor of the UT store in Tokyo that will serve as a gallery space.

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