Uniqlo has enlisted musician and music producer Pharrell Williams as a collaborator and spokesperson for the UT 2014 spring-summer collection. Launched in 2003, Uniqlo’s UT T-shirt brand is getting a fresh start this year, as “The New Model T,” a collection produced by its creative director and street fashion icon Nigo.
The collection is made up of 35 themes in more than 1,200 colors and patterns, and features a line in collaboration with Williams’ “i am OTHER” creative collective. Pharrell Williams will appear in the campaign images and a TV commercial for the collection, which will be available in the 14 countries and regions around the world where Uniqlo operates.
The UT T-shirt brand is marking its 12th year, with a return to the roots of the T-shirt, offering an authentic pop style. The company said that it has made revisions to the body of the shirts, and selected an assortment of graphics for them.
The line created in collaboration with Williams will include men’s and women’s T-shirts and caps, and will be sold beginning mid-April in 14 countries and regions around the world, including Japan. In addition, the new TV commercial to be released in April will feature a song from Pharrell’s new album “G I R L”. The commercial, and video of an exclusive interview, will be available on the Uniqlo website in April.
The limited edition “Think other” T-shirt that Williams wears in the main promotional poster will be available to the first 500 customers starting March 10 in the online store only.
Uniqlo also plans to launch SPRZ NY (“Surprise New York”), a global project that combines art and fashion, inspired by current artists. SPRZ NY will feature a number of specially designed items such as T-shirts, outerwear and innerwear, as well as a collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art.
Uniqlo became a multi-year, corporate sponsor of MoMA in May 2013. At that time, Uniqlo became sponsor of the Museum’s Friday night free admission program, now called “Uniqlo Free Friday Nights,” which provides increased accessibility to the museum’s exhibitions, collection and film programs. To further its continued support of MoMA, Uniqlo is presenting the MoMA special edition items, inspired by artwork from the museum’s collection and new designs specially made for SPRZ NY in collaboration with living artists. The MoMA special edition designs are based on the works of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jack Pierson, Jackson Pollock, Lawrence Weiner, Ryan McGinness and Sarah Morris.
Products will be available at Uniqlo stores worldwide beginning March 28. MoMA special edition products will also be available at the MoMA Design Store and online at MoMAStore.org, where each purchase supports the museum’s exhibitions and educational programming.
In related news, the second floor of Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue global flagship store is being remodeled and will reopen March 28 as the SPRZ NY Store. As part of this renovation, the store will include the introduction of the Starbucks Experience with a full-service coffeehouse.
“We are extremely pleased to have such wonderful partners as MoMA and Starbucks,” said Fast Retailing chairman, president and CEO Tadashi Yanai. “Through SPRZ NY, we will give customers around the world a taste of enjoying exceptional art by wearing our specially designed clothes and items, reinforcing our LifeWear mission.”
Also launching in the U.S. for the first time, in conjunction with SPRZ NY, is the Lucky Uniqlo Line — an online application where users stand in a virtual line. The app launched in May 2010 in Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea. Customers can use their Twitter or Facebook ID to join and have a chance to win prizes in partnership with MoMA and Starbucks. Up to 5,000 customers will receive rewards, including an after-hours guided tour of MoMA and shopping vouchers for the Starbucks Versimo System.