- Simone Preuss |
Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo participated in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) for the first time this year, which took place from 5th to 10th November in Shanghai. Part of Uniqlo’s presentation was “The Art and Science of LifeWear,” Uniqlo’s LifeWear global brand exhibition, which took place in New York, Paris and London in previous years.
At 1,500 square meters (more than 16,000 square feet), “The Art and Science of LifeWear” was the largest exhibition space in the consumer goods category at CIIE. The space titled “Museum of Tomorrow” showcased the innovation and technology behind Uniqlo products, the craftsmanship that goes into creating high-quality clothing, as well as sustainability initiatives and the first public exhibition of the upcoming “+J” collection in renewed collaboration with legendary designer Jil Sander. The exhibition was also accessible virtually for Uniqlo customers at the company’s digital flagship store in Tokyo.
“Uniqlo is pleased to have introduced ‘The Art and Science of LifeWear’ and its product and services innovations to consumers in China and around the world through the CIIE platform. We hope that with our participation we could inspire a better future life, and new lifestyles, for people everywhere. Uniqlo is full of confidence about the Chinese market and consumers going forward, and the company plans to continue to deepen its roots into low tiered cities in China,” commented Jalin Wu, group executive officer of Fast Retailing and CMO of Uniqlo China, in a press release.
Uniqlo’s “Museum of Tomorrow” presents Ultra Light Down, AIRism and HeatTech technology
The “Museum of Tomorrow” exhibition attracted more than 300 representatives of the domestic and foreign media, as well as more than 200,000 visitors who wanted to experience it and understand the technology behind the products. They were greeted by giant versions of Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down jackets, which were hanging from the ceiling. The exhibition explained the technology behind the jacket and how it combines warmth and lightness.
Showcasing Uniqlo’s innerwear offerings, the “Museum of Tomorrow” also featured three experiments to demonstrate how the various functions of AIRism regulate the air under clothing, releasing heat and humidity to provide comfortable dryness. Another station highlighted the bio-warming technology found in HeatTech innerwear, which was introduced in 2003.
“For the first time I saw the technology behind Ultra Light Down, and through technology experiments featuring AIRism and HeatTech, I realised how many innovations of science and design actually go into a piece of clothing that allows us to switch freely between different life scenarios more efficiently, comfortably and stylishly,” said one media representative.
The CIIE also saw the first public presentation of the “+J” fall/winter 2020 collection, which launched in Uniqlo stores and online at the same time. The collection marks the return of the brand’s collaboration with Jil Sander, who brings her signature modern style to this new line for women and men.
Uniqlo presents “+J” collection, 3D knitting, Blocktech and sustainability with BlueCycle
Among other highlights of Uniqlo’s CIIE showcase was a knitting machine. Using Wholegarment technology in China for the first time, Uniqlo showed the art of revolutionary 3D seamless knitting. The garments produced in this way fit the body perfectly and bring a new wearing experience of stylish comfort.
The space also featured a Blocktech lab, where experiments clearly demonstrated the high-tech utility of outerwear and its windproof, waterproof and breathable functions, which provide comfortable protection against cold.
Uniqlo also displayed its “UTs” (Uniqlo t-shirts), which offer an array of authentic pop culture and art graphics from around the world, allowing the wearer to express their individuality. At the Uniqlo Masterpiece Studio display, the brand highlighted the quality created through persistent craftsmanship, refined cutting and fabric selection, which defines the value of clothing.
Uniqlo also featured its global sustainable development and innovation efforts, for example with the world debut of BlueCycle, a rebranding of Uniqlo’s innovative water-saving technology that allows for significantly less water use in the jeans production process. This technology from the company’s Jeans Innovation Center, established in Los Angeles in 2016, was part of a wider exhibit highlighting the history and evolution of Uniqlo jeans and its six types of denim fabric.