UNIQLO – This way to Utopia
UNIQLO has re-launched their global flagship store at 311 Oxford Street, London, with This Way to Utopia, a celebration of the vibrant London scene, as well as their ambition for the store to become a cultural hub through partnerships with the Tate Modern Museum and NTS Radio. The renovated store re-opened on Friday 18 March.
London has held a special position in UNIQLO’s global expansion plans ever since the company opened its first store in the UK, and indeed overseas, in 2001. The opening of the London global flagship store followed in 2007 at the same 311 Oxford Street premises, offering the largest UNIQLO sales floor space in the world, at the time.
Commenting on the re-launch of the global flagship store, John C Jay, Fast Retailing President of Global Creative, said: “London is one of the most diverse cities in the world and a true creative and cultural utopia.
“At UNIQLO, we believe ‘utopia’ is more than just a place; it is a means for self-expression, through design, creativity and cultural diversity. We wish to celebrate the special connection we feel with London, which was after all our first overseas market almost fifteen years ago, and believe that our new campaign, called This Way to Utopia, and campaign ambassadors showcase this in the best way possible.”
This Way to Utopia was conceived and produced by Faster Horses, a creative partnership founded by award-winning creative directors Sam Walker and Joe De Souza, shot by legendary photographer Rankin and includes a roadblock TV advertisement and Oxford Street takeover.
Sam Walker of Faster Horses said: “It’s exciting to work on a great brand that’s not afraid to keep moving, evolving and challenging perceptions.”
At the forefront of the campaign are six cultural ambassadors, chosen by UNIQLO because they reflect the creativity, positivity and diversity of London in 2016:
- Hana Tajima is a UK born fashion designer and blogger. Inspired by her Japanese roots and English upbringing, Hana mixed her modern, personal style of modest fashion with UNIQLO’s LifeWear concept to create a collaboration line that has launched in Southeast Asia and the US and will now be introduced in the UK for the first time.
- Skepta is a rapper, songwriter and producer and one of the most prominent artists in the UK grime scene, currently making an impact globally with his Boy Better Know label, which Grammy award-winning rapper Drake joined last month.
- Munroe Bergdorf is a transgender model, activist and DJ, who also works in fashion and is involved in raising awareness of transgender issues.
- Benji B is an influential DJ and record producer. He is known for his late night BBC Radio 1 show and for creating the station’s most downloaded podcast. He also runs and DJs at the Deviation Sessions club night in London and has produced for Kanye West.
- Sean Frank is a respected filmmaker and visual artist working with fashion brands and musicians, as well as on personal projects.
- Cate Underwood is a successful London-based photographer and model and winner of the Bazaar Fashion Forward award 2010.
A TV advertisement aired on 13 March on Channel 4 during the drama ‘Indian Summer’ and took up a full two and a half minute time slot. The advertisement featured a series of dancers, choreographed by Got to Dance winner Lukas McFarlane, in unexpected London locations and included amazing stunt and wire-work. The film was sound tracked by Konstantin Sibold titled ‘Madeleine.’
The renovated global flagship store will house new collections from Liberty London, which is being sold at 311 Oxford Street on 18 March ahead of other UNIQLO stores around the world as a celebration of London’s culture. The UNIQLO X Hana Tajima collection will be available for the first time in the UK exclusively at 311 Oxford Street, and the last UNIQLO and Lemaire collaboration line will go on sale from the date of the flagship launch in stores across London.
In addition to becoming an official sponsor of the Tate Modern’s relaunch weekend in June, UNIQLO will sponsor a new event at the museum called ‘UNIQLO Fridays,’ which are a series of late night events at the Tate on the first Friday of every month starting in October. At the same time, the Tate Modern will be curating quarterly events in 311 Oxford Street.
UNIQLO will also host monthly events in partnership with East London based internet radio station NTS, including a summer barbecue on the rooftop of its store.
Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd
Set up by father & son more than thirty years ago, family-run company, Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd, specialise in all aspects of fit-out works for the retail industry. Services are extensive and range from the installation of shopfronts (including aluminium and cladding), curtain walling, structural glazing, AP assemblies, doors, shutters and glass floor panels, to balustrades, hand rails, office & fire screens, curved & decorative glass, and more.
Ashley Gosbee is the director of Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd. Ashley has been running Shopfront Services Southern since 2008.
Over the years, Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd have worked on many prestigious projects, including Monsoon flagship store Oxford Street London for ISG; 02 Newcastle for Paragon Group; Itsu Neal Street Covent Garden for Oakley Interiors; Rocket Fuel Bow Lane London for the Interiors Group; and various Pret A Mangers & Sainsbury’s Locals amongst other.
Most recently, Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd has been involved with Uniqlo London. Working on this project, Shopfront Services was responsible for work across five floors of the building.
On the ground floor, Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd installed a full-height mirrored stainless steel automatic double door at the main entrance; three full-height external glass & aluminium powder coated shopfronts; internal AP glass assemblies; structural sandblasted glass floor panels; full height escalator atrium glass; and three glass balustrades. On the first floor the company installed seven full-height internal AP glass assemblies; brushed stainless steel floor panels & edge trims; acrylic light floor & ceiling trays; and full-height escalator atrium glass.
Moving onto the second, third and fourth floors, Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd continued their work on the escalator atrium glass, installed fire exit doors and associated works.
Commenting about the project, Wendy Prout, Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd, said:
“At Shopfront Services (Southern) Ltd, we strive for customer’s complete satisfaction and there is no better opportunity to showcase our works than at Uniqlo’s Flagship store.”