Uniqlo and The Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY
Global apparel retailer, UNIQLO, believes in truly great clothes – clothes that meet the demands of a wide group of people around the world and which play a role in changing customers’ lifestyles. The company, with over 1,800 stores worldwide, oversees the entire clothes-making process from procurement of materials, product planning, development, design and manufacture through distribution and retail to inventory management. Their casual basics can be worn by anyone, of any age and on any day, including a line of graphic T-Shirts (UT), featuring designs from the worlds of fine art, music, and culture.
With the world’s finest collection of modern and contemporary art and a dynamic exhibition program, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a place for discovery and engagement that fuels creativity and ignites minds. Each year, MoMA inspires millions of visitors from around the world through its collection and exhibitions; the efforts of its Library and Archives, conservation labs, and study centers; and education programs for arts enthusiasts of all ages and experiences.
In their different fields of expertise, UNIQLO and MoMA share a passion for quality, innovation, and spreading the joy of art around the world, and it is through these shared values that a dynamic partnership was born.
Since May 2013, UNIQLO has been the sponsor of UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, providing free access every Friday evening to the Museum’s renowned collection of modern art, special exhibitions, and film programs to more than 1.6 million New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. By sponsoring UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, the company continues to make possible free access to the general public, promoting wider appreciation for modern art and design.
In March 2014, UNIQLO first launched ‘SPRZ NY’ (abbreviation for Surprise New York), a product line which includes specially designed clothing and accessories inspired by artwork from the Museum’s collection, which are labeled as ‘MoMA Special Edition’ designs. At that time the second floor of UNIQLO’s Fifth Avenue Global Flagship Store was remodeled to accommodate this new style of partnership, and the floor became known as the ‘SPRZ NY Store.’ UNIQLO continues to launch new ‘MoMA Special Edition’ designs throughout the year and sell them in UNIQLO stores worldwide including the uniqlo.com online store. Additionally, MoMA’s retail channels, including MoMA Design Store and store.moma.org, sell select ‘SPRZ NY’ products.
The result of this retail partnership has been T-shirt designs featuring the artwork of renowned artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yayoi Kusama, and Sol LeWitt, as well as the photographers Stephen Shore, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Man Ray. The partnership has also offered T-shirts highlighting graphic designers including Paula Scher and Massimo Vignelli. UNIQLO acknowledges the joy in encouraging people to discover art through T-shirts as the company wishes to make art more accessible through casual clothing and other items from the SPRZ NY project.
The partnership not only enhances the MoMA and UNIQLO brands and fuels traffic across Manhattan’s 53rd Street – but also creates an innovative and personalized experience for shoppers and museum visitors alike. For UNIQLO, the partnership brings vibrancy to the workplace and helps communicate marketing messages in engaging ways.