Sunday, November 19, 2006
UNIQLO Soho NY - Mob Scene
I went to UNIQLO yesterday as part of a three-stop shop excursion. It just opened on Broadway in Soho and snagged me with its advertising campaign touting $39.50 cashmere sweaters. Apparently, according to the undeniable truth of a November 10 press release:
"UNIQLO, Japan’s most popular apparel retailer and a worldwide leader in casual wear, opened its first global flagship store and the world’s largest UNIQLO in New York City, the fashion capital of the world. Located at 546 Broadway, the 36,000 square foot UNIQLO SoHo NY features the very best of UNIQLO - stylish, high-quality and affordable clothing and accessories, complemented by an unparalleled modern Japanese shopping experience in a stunning architectural landmark."
New York City? "The fashion capital of the world?" I just had to go see what this was all about.
Now I know:
1. It's mobbed
2. Sizes run from zero - 6, with the occasional 8 and less occasional 10 (for women, obviously - they also have clothing for men and children)
3. The styles are basic with an edge; materials basic with less of an edge
4. Did I mention it was mobbed?
OK, so the mobbed part is a given and I can't really bitch. If you go shopping downtown on Broadway on a weekend you are going to be run down by waves of tourists from all over the galaxy. A family of martians even knocked my sunglasses off of my head on the way in! As you probably know by now, the G.S. enjoys a bit calmer retail experience, which may indicate that she is over the hill, which also leads me to my next point...
I am too old and too American (read: I am not petite) to wear most of these clothes. Now that I know it is a Japanese company I feel a bit better about my hulking presence. I need to be coddled by American designers who slap a size 8 label on a size 10 pair of pants to make me feel better.
So UNIQLO is basically the Japanese answer to H&M; a near-department-store-sized facility that pumps out massive quantities of reasonably priced and somewhat trendy but safe fashions. OK, good great fine, carry on then.