Cindy Tse, Staff Writer

On Sep. 8, a new Uniqlo opened in the Westfield Santa Anita, touting a wide variety of clothes available at a range of prices. Uniqlo is a Japanese chain store clothing brand that has opened stores in ten countries and has had multiple collaborations with a number of notable designers and other brands, including Christophe Lemair and Pharrell Williams. The company’s casual style and affordable prices make it one of the most popular go-to’s for stylish clothes.

Uniqlo opened its first store, “Unique Clothing Warehouse”, in 1985 in Hiroshima. The name Uniqlo came from contracting the phrase “unique clothing”. By 1994, over 100 Uniqlo stores had opened throughout Japan. They took marketing techniques from America’s Gap brand, learning methods on how to make a profit by designing and selling clothes that they self-produced. Uniqlo soon began catching on in cities, with stores becoming a common sight in fashion centers, such as Tokyo’s Harajuku district. The company’s first overseas stores were built in China and London and since then, Uniqlo has been a staple of wardrobes for all types of people.

This popularity is not a surprise. For a long time, Uniqlo’s clothes have been praised for their quality and versatility. On their website, they display their mission, stating that “Our clothes are simple and essential yet universal, so people can freely combine them with their own unique styles, in any way they choose, every day of the year.” Compared to other fast fashion stores in the U.S., Uniqlo has a smaller selection of design choices but ultimately superior cloth and color choices. It goes above and beyond when it comes to developing outfits that are both classy and comfortable. In fact, its Heattech line is one of its most popular, particularly during the winter season, as it provides warmth without creating the bulky layers commonly seen with cold-weather ensembles. Stores even offer hemming services for certain types of pants to provide the best fit for their customers. Not only does the company take a stand for excellent clothes, but it aims to be a good example on a moral level as well. Clothes for Smiles, Uniqlo Recycle, and Grameen Uniqlo are all programs that are intended to improve the quality of life for lower-income countries by advancing education, providing resources, and supporting locals through social business.

Westfield Santa Anita’s Uniqlo is quite sizeable. The store is divided into men’s, women’s, and children’s sections, each neatly organized and well-stocked. However, many of its products can be considered unisex, especially sweaters and t-shirts. September heralds the arrival of the new fall and winter collection, featuring collaboration pieces between Uniqlo and J.W. Anderson. As a company, Uniqlo is reliable and provides consumers with what they want while using the profits in beneficial ways.