It’s been two years since we heard rumblings that UNIQLO might be coming to Canada (literally, we published articles about it here and then again here), but the day has finally come. Today, as of 10 am EST, you can shop at the first Canadian UNIQLO store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, with a second location opening in Yorkdale later in October. (GET EXCITED.)
While we’re obviously all stoked about the new addition to our local fashion landscape, this means something so much more for the Canadian marketplace. While the brand promises to stay true to its own esthetic, with each new country it expands into it brings a little bit of local flair to cater to the marketplace. For us, this means the campaign Uncommon Threads and the anyone-can-wear-it plaid flannel shirt (plus all of the cozy basic clothes you can get your mitten-covered paws on).
We caught up with UNIQLO CEO and founder Tadashi Yanai and president of global creative for Fast Retailing John C. Jay ahead of the store opening to get a bit of insight into the new Canadian venture. Yanai explains that it was Canada’s (and Toronto’s, specifically) diversity that drove the brand to open up shop in our home and native land, adding, “Canada is a part of a world market where diversity is being celebrated and it’s a very dynamic market.” Jay explains, “There’s something that’s happening [in Canada] that people are noticing and that we couldn’t help but notice as well; Toronto is very unique in itself and we like that uniqueness.” While this diversity and uniqueness will be apparent in the two new Toronto UNIQLO stores through local designers and tastemakers, Jay stresses that it “doesn’t mean that we’re going to do the same thing in every city,” but rather highlight the uniqueness of each new addition. Jay adds that, “We wanted this idea to be very active and not just conceptual; you won’t see us standing at the back of the store admiring your diversity, we want to engage with it.”
While our amazing city’s diversity is what brought the brand here in the first place, UNIQLO will remain true to its Japanese roots and brand’s mission for “simple made better,” as well as its general aversion to fast fashion (though that’s not to say the brand discounts lasting trends or style altogether). The Canadian marketing campaign, Uncommon Threads, highlights the diversity of the city, but also how we’re all connected through our love for our nation and the undying love we have of flannel (I mean, when it’s cold eight months of the year, yeah, of course we’re all over that cozy plaid flannel). The brand’s message underlines the fact that style is how you make it and that the simplest of white tees can be transformed to suit your own personal style.