Iconic Japanese clothing store Uniqlo has a tradition of teaming up with other companies to create unique clothing lines drawing from both pop culture icons and traditional designs, especially when it comes to their UT collections.
In 2011 they created more than 30 products with Manga Entertainment based on the popular manga/anime series Naruto.
On the UT floor, customers will find designs paying homage to Keith Haring and Andy Warhol rubbing shoulders with time-honored motifs from Eirakuya, Japan’s oldest cotton textiles trading company.
This month Uniqlo is collaborating with kabuki powerhouse Shochiku Co. to produce a new clothing line inspired by the traditional motifs of Japan’s most famous cultural export.
The line, comprising more than 60 items, will be launched in Paris on March 20 before hitting shelves in Japan on the 26th.
Ennosuke Ichikawa IV, one of kabuki’s most prominent stars, will play a new role as the project’s ambassador. Given the insular tendencies of the the kabuki world, this is quite a milestone.
The T-shirts serve as the collection’s focal point with designs invoking patterns seen in kabuki costumes and the bold colors of kumadori, kabuki stage makeup.
The project was created to merge traditional Japanese art form with modern clothing, featuring pieces with traditional colors and patterns formatted to contemporary designs.
The collection includes both men and women’s clothing as well as accessories and totebags.
Building on the success of its special Nippon Omiyage tees, Uniqlo clearly sees the value of more Made in Japan designs targeted at tourists who want to wear their love of Japan on their short sleeves.
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