Start saving your money, because Uniqlo is finally coming to Metro Vancouver
Uniqlo, Japan's leading apparel retailer, will soon be occupying a 20,630-square-foot space in Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, showcasing the full range of merchandise including menswear, womenswear and children's wear. The new location will open on Friday, October 6 at 10 a.m. and will be the brand’s third Canadian location, after two store openings in Toronto last year.
"Canada is very important to Uniqlo and the Vancouver market is very significant to us—I can't emphasize this more," said Yasuhiro Hayashi, the chief operating officer of Uniqlo Canada, during a private tour of the Toronto Eaton Centre location earlier this summer. "This is one of the most important openings we have in the coming years."
"From our customer demographics, we know that Vancouverites have a very active lifestyle with good work-life balance. Our products suit this active style so you can cycle to work, have a day in the office and go to yoga after. But we also know that life in Vancouver is very expensive—our clothes are very affordable. We want to provide another functional clothing option for hyperactive lifestyles."
"We [also] want to be a good neighbour," stresses Hayashi. "We want to make a connection to the local community... and treat Vancouver as an individual [market], so it won't be the same concept as Toronto. There will be some sort of collaboration with local brands and artists so Vancouver is unique."
Those in the know love Uniqlo for its of-the-moment yet cost-friendly pieces. For those yet to have their first Uniqlo encounter, I almost envy the crushing giddiness you're going to experience this fall. Some of their key lines include...
This ultra-thin, ultra-warm fabric was designed in partnership with one of Japan's top textile manufacturers. It's perfect for damp, West Coast winters, whether you're huddling over a laptop or heading up to Whistler. This fabric absorbs body moisture, converting it to heat, which is trapped within micro air pockets.
Ultra Light Down
Uniqlo transformed the down-filled clothing market when they introduced their ultra-light, ultra-warm, ultra-packable and ultra-affordable jackets and vests—and all available in a massive range of fashion-forward colours.
I was in Tokyo at the height of summer last year surrounded by salarymen and salarywomen who were dressed in full suits, without breaking a sweat, while I was a puddle. At a Uniqlo media dinner in Vancouver recently, Aldo Liguori, global PR director at Uniqlo's parent company, Fast Retailing (and Tokyo resident), confirmed that their cool exteriors were probably due to AIRism, which he constantly wore himself. These thin, cute, layering tanks have already become a staple in my wardrobe.
When Christophe Lemaire (creative director at Lacoste from 2000 to 2010, then Hermès from 2011 to 2015) collaborated on a capsule collection with Uniqlo in 2015, the pieces flew off the shelves so quickly that Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and CEO of Fast Retailing, appointed Lemaire the brand's first high-fashion artistic director. In this position, Lemaire and his elite design team work from the Uniqlo Paris R&D (research and development) Center, which was established in 2016, to produce the Uniqlo U collection. Combining the sartorial traditions of Paris with the aesthetics of Japan and leading-edge technologies, Uniqlo U strives to revolutionize clothing basics.
Follow @tsewords on social media for more pictures of Uniqlo including exclusive sneak peeks of the F/W '17 collection.