BERLIN — With its first door in Germany and the largest European store to date, Uniqlo is playing it big in Berlin.
Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.’s Uniqlo chain took over the corner of Tauentzien and Nurembergerstrasse on the city’s well-trafficked west side for its three-floor, 29,000-square-foot Berlin flagship. Set to open at noon on Friday, the store houses the entire Uniqlo assortment for men, women and children. Indeed, the kids’ department in Berlin is the chain’s most extensive in Europe.
The two-story glass facade and interior features the chain’s signature store design elements, including rotating mannequins in the windows; LED city name displays, in this instance on the stairs leading to the men’s and children’s department in the basement and upper women’s floor, and assorted high-tech installations. There are also a few Berlin specialties, like chairs and other items by Bauhaus luminaries Mies Van Der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. The building’s dimensions also made possible Uniqlo’s tallest T-shirt wall globally, measuring 42-and-a-half-feet high.
In the run-up to the opening, Uniqlo embarked on an active advertising campaign on the streets and in the subways, as well as magazines, featuring six faces of Berlin as well as core products. The people campaign featured actor and producer Daniel Brühl, model Eva Padberg, DJ and producer Nina Kraviz, restaurateur Roland Mary, actor Samuel Schneider and actress and blogger Nilam M. Farooq (aka Daaruum) as ambassadors wearing Uniqlo’s cashmere pullovers, stretch jeans, ultralight down jackets and linen shirts. Earlier in the year, coinciding with Berlin Fashion Week in January, Uniqlo staged a series of pop-up stores in locations around town.
To mark the opening, the Berlin store is offering a preview of fall’s men’s and women’s cashmere sweater range at a 10 euro, or $13 at current exchange, discount till April 19, as well as a Berlin limited edition of J Brand women’s jeans in two washes of midblue and black. Uniqlo also put aside some stock of the almost sold-out Inès de la Fressange collection especially for the Berliners, to make sure all facets of Uniqlo’s LifeWear story could be experienced in this German debut.
The decision to enter Germany at the present time had to do with finding “the right location and the right team. The European team exists only two years,” he pointed out. Germany is a more complicated market than France and the U.K., where tourism and buying power is centered in one city. Germany is decentralized, requiring more city locations, and lease contracts also tend to be much longer. Comparing Uniqlo’s current European playing fields, he said the U.K. is a very price-aggressive market, where competition takes place on the basis of price discounts, though Uniqlo’s stock management means “you won’t see many price cuts in our windows.”
France is about signature product, “about using Uniqlo as a tool box in one’s wardrobe in a casual way. Whereas Russia is about colors. Color has a higher relevance than in the West. I’ve never seen so much red as on the streets there. In Germany, we’ll have other lessons,” he added.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion