NEW YORK — Global clothing retailer Uniqlo will become the exclusive, multi-year corporate sponsor of the Museum of Modern Art’s Friday night free admission program, beginning in May.
The program provides free access to the museum and all exhibitions from 4 to 8 p.m., every Friday, throughout the year, a tremendous value considering the normal admission fee is $25.
The retailer’s sponsorship kicks off May 3, and is being called Uniqlo Free Friday Nights. That evening, the first 1,000 visitors will receive a Uniqlo tote bag. The museum also plans to extend its public schedule to seven days per week starting in May.
Uniqlo Free Friday Nights will provide increased accessibility to the museum's exhibitions, collection and film programs for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. Since the Free Friday Night Program launched in 2004, nearly 3 million visitors have enjoyed free admission to MoMA's exhibitions, film screenings and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, making the museum one of New York's favorite Friday night social scenes.
"Providing free museum admission year-round helps MoMA fulfill its mission of developing new audiences and making art accessible to a wider public," said MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry. "As a major corporate partner, Uniqlo plays an essential role in helping the museum bring the very best in modern and contemporary art to our diverse national and international audience."
By extending its motto of “clothes made for all” and bringing art to all every Friday, Uniqlo is certainly endearing itself to New Yorkers and tourists who rely on saving the steep admission fare to be able so they can enjoy a bit of art and culture.
Uniqlo is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, g.u., Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory and Uniqlo. With global sales of approximately 928 billion yen for the 2012 fiscal year ending August 31, 2012, Fast Retailing is currently the world's fourth largest apparel retail company, and Uniqlo is Japan's leading specialty retailer.
Fast Retailing opened its first Uniqlo store in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1984. Since then, the company has become a global player with more than 1,100 stores in 13 markets worldwide including Japan, China, France, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and U.S. It opened its global flagship store on Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street, on the same block as MoMa, October 2012.
"MoMA is my favorite museum in the world," said Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and CEO of Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company. "I am very pleased that we could open our Uniqlo flagship store on the same street as MoMA in New York City. It is an honor for us to be neighbors with MoMA on 53rd Street, such a prestigious and central location. I hope that together we can grow and deepen our relationships with the general public, and that the Uniqlo sponsorship can give even greater access to people from all around the world to visit such a leading international museum."
A multi-year partner with the museum, Uniqlo previously sponsored the MoMA exhibition Tokyo 1955–1970, A New Avant-Garde in 2012.