Article and Photos by: Michael Castaño
Friends of mine who are overseas – as well as those who come from major cities across the United States – all rave about a certain international brand: Uniqlo. For many, this brand epitomizes functionality without compromising fashion. When I arrived at Georgetown, I was surprised that there wasn’t a Uniqlo nearby, since nearly all major cities in America tend to have one. Georgetown students need no longer worry, though, because as Uniqlo’s promotional campaign so proudly declares, it has finally come all the way from Tokyo to our own Tyson’s Corner.
In an age of innovative and constantly evolving fashion, Uniqlo is as straightforward as they come. What you see is what you get with this brand, and while that notion can sometimes be perceived as boring or plain, it actually works as an advantage for Uniqlo. There isn’t any fluff or false promises advertised with this brand. Uniqlo offers clean and simple clothing at the most basic level. Even when partnering with names like New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Disney, and even Marvel, Uniqlo has managed to create interesting designs, highlighting iconic artwork, characters, and symbols, all without entertaining anything unnecessary. In an interview posted on Uniqlo’s official website, Masamichi Katayama, the designer of Uniqlo’s Manhattan locations (arguably the locations that originally brought on Uniqlo’s popularity in the U.S.), said, “I think Uniqlo’s aesthetic is not about adding on embellishments, but homing in on its principles and foundations.”
The “principles and foundations” of Uniqlo products are based upon, according to their website, the “Japanese values of simplicity, quality, and longevity.” This could not be more perfectly summarized as this encompasses exactly what is seen in their clothing. Offering everything from underwear to cold-weather gear, there’s a certain harmony between these attributes that exists across the variety of different clothing options sold at all Uniqlo stores, such as in the brand’s HEATTECH series meant for cold-weather. As an Angeleno that honestly gets a little chilly when the weather gets below 70 degrees, the HEATTECH series saved my life when I had to venture into the Northeast in January. I was kept warm and remained completely comfortable – and still managed to stay stylish.
Mannequins all over the store highlighting Uniqlo’s winter collection.
Visiting a Uniqlo store, including the location found at Tyson’s corner, provides a similar experience to the one that is gained from wearing their clothes. The layout of all Uniqlo stores is consistent, so shoppers know just what to expect. The layout has an order and a simplicity that works cohesively with the simple and clean clothing on display. Combined with both the elegant yet powerful branding that Uniqlo utilizes as well as some more technicolor, pop accents, Uniqlo stores feel strikingly fresh and organized.
Uniqlo’s penchant for balance and harmony is reflected in the organization of their clothing inside the store.
For Georgetown students, or anyone in the DMV area looking for affordable and stylish basics, the Uniqlo at Tyson’s Corner is a very welcome sight.
Uniqlo’s newest location can be visited at the Tysons Corner Center at 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons, VA 22102.
MICHAEL CASTANO is currently a freshman in the College as a Computer Science major. He is also on the board of Club Filipino. His hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies, and defending anything Kanye West says or does.