TOKYO — Uniqlo is expanding its range of products made from U.S.-grown Supima cotton for the spring season onward, hoping to woo international customers with high-quality clothing at an affordable price.
Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo is rolling out about 150 items, including T-shirts, hoodies, knitwear, innerwear and loungewear, with some products offering UV protection. Retail prices range from about 790 yen to 1,990 yen, or $7.71 to $19.42 at current exchange. The color palette features hues like lilac, pink and pistachio green. Uniqlo declined to provide a sales forecast for the new range.
The Japanese brand has a long relationship with Supima and has used the extra-long staple fiber, primarily grown in California, for more than 10 years. But it is now making about 30 percent more products than it did a year ago and ramping up marketing efforts. It will similarly launch new Supima products for fall and future seasons. RELATED STORY: Fast Retailing to List in Hong Kong >>
Jesse W. Curlee, president of the Supima Association of America, said Uniqlo is “probably” the cotton growers’ organization’s biggest customer. He declined to specify by how much, but said it was a “big percentage” for one brand.
Curlee stressed that the organization of cotton growers often turns down requests from retailers and brands to use the Supima name to sell their products. He said he was reluctant to grant Uniqlo the right to do so, but was convinced after he got to know the company and its base of young, “up-and-coming” consumers shopping for luxury products.
“They’re the people that we want as Supima,” he said, adding that Uniqlo takes an unusual approach to its cotton sourcing by working directly with cotton farmers rather than going through third-party agents. “Our growers are very aware of the company and we’d love to see it grow more in the United States.”
The Supima products will be rolled out to Uniqlo stores around the world and target the brand’s increasingly international customer base so they will be sized accordingly, Yoshihiro Kunji, executive vice president of production at Fast Retailing, said. Speaking more broadly about Uniqlo’s clothing offering, he said the retailer is looking at ways to accommodate more body types beyond its standard Japanese sizing for smaller frames and the minimal adjustments it is already making in length for Western markets.
“In the near future, we have to achieve a more high-level, three-dimensional adjustment of [Uniqlo’s] sizing, especially for women’s, but it’s still under study,” he said.
Curlee said China’s stockpiling of cotton has created a certain sense of uneasiness in the marketplace, but demand for high-end Supima, which represents about 1 percent of the total cotton market, is robust. Supima currently commands a price of about $1.90 a pound, more than double that of regular cotton, he said.
“Right now demand is basically outpacing supply,” he said.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)