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Uniqlo Makes its SoCal Debut at South Coast Plaza

Uniqlo South Coast Plaza

This past summer, shoppers across Southern California were offered just a small sample of what was to come from Japanese retail giant Uniqlo. South Coast Plaza and Beverly Center were both proud to host the label’s summer pop-ups, giving Angelenos and Orange County residents a taste of the brand. But the wait for the real thing is officially over, as South Coast Plaza welcomes a full-fledged Uniqlo location — the first in Southern California.

The staff at Uniqlo South Coast Plaza

Traditional taiko drummers were on hand at the store’s opening, which included a ribbon cutting ceremony overseen by Meyer himself along with Jim Righeimer, the mayor of Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza managing partner Anton Segerstrom, South Coast Plaza general manager David Grant, Executive Director of Marketing Debra Gunn Downing and more. The store, which is located in the center’s Sears wing, boasts 18,000-square feet and the full range of products for men, women, children and even babies.

The celebration isn’t just a one-day affair. Shoppers who visit through Sunday will have the chance to receive one of 500 limited edition tote bags per day and snag a free Heattech item with every $50 purchase throughout the weekend. South Coast Plaza is also the only location to offer Uniqlo’s Pure Blue Japan collection, which is dyed with natural indigo.

“There will be a lot of things inspired by L.A. and Southern California. And I would argue that the Pure Blue Japan project is inspired by what would work for the people of Southern California,” Meyer told Fashion Trends Daily. “That said, we want to make it a part of our global collection.”

The Pure Blue Japan collection, which has pieces for men and women, includes jeans, shirting and gauzy scarves in a lightweight weave that’s perfect for California. The South Coast Plaza location is also one of the only spots where you can find the UT t-shirt customization station, where customers can upload a photo from their phones or create a design from scratch on an iPad and have it printed and sent home. Currently, it’s a feature that’s exclusive to pop-up shops. 

Heattech and Airism, two of Uniqlo’s most popular product categories, are on offer to cool down the SoCal heat wave (Airism is designed to wick sweat away from the body) and prep us all for the coming chill (Heattech items keep you warm without bulky layers).

The Supima cotton collection, which is a favorite among Uniqlo devotees, is sourced from cotton grown locally right here in California and is available (along with cashmere sweaters, fleece and more) in Uniqlo’s signature rainbow of colors.

Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo

Uniqlo is also known for collaborations and the new location has plenty on offer. Disney pieces are available for men, women and children with great graphic t-shirts featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

“Uniqlo represents style, quality and fun,” says Josh Silverman, Executive Vice President of Licensing for Disney Consumer Products. “We’re proud to partner with them and thrilled that we’re here.”

Chanel muse and model Ines de la Fressange’s second capsule collection for Uniqlo is available now and this holiday season, she’ll release a collection of LBDs just in time for Christmas and the New Year. Another ongoing collaboration, with SPRZ NY and MOMA brings the artwork of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring to sweatshirts and t-shirts.

Uniqlo South Coast Plaza

“The right collaborators are important to our global business, as we provide a platform for [them] to reach a broader audience,” adds Meyer. “We make their brand more available.”

While the brand may be familiar to travelers who visit the East Coast and Northern California, where the brand has opened 24 locations, South Coast Plaza’s Uniqlo marks the brand’s first entry into Southern California (and 25th U.S. location overall). San Francisco, the Bay Area and San Jose have multiple locations and in New York alone, Uniqlos are popping up at a breakneck pace. Following the South Coast Plaza opening, Uniqlo will be opening additional locations at Beverly Center, Los Cerritos Center, Northridge Fashion Center and the Glendale Galleria.

“We’re excited to be the first Southern California retailer to offer Uniqlo’s unique shopping experience,” said Debra Gunn Downing, South Coast Plaza’s Executive Director of Marketing. “South Coast Plaza’s international customers have been shopping at Uniqlo locations around the globe, so we’re thrilled to bring the concept here now.”

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