Ok. When I first heard about Uniqlo opening not just its 730th (!!!!) store but also its flagship in Soho, I was like "Woo!" Cheap stuff designed with the wearer's individuality in mind, not just for the sake of plastering some lame logo like, oh, I don't know... "Young Army" or "Hommy Lilfinger" or "Crap" ... across my chest. See, Uniqlo is sort of a (ahem) Gap-like one-stop fashion retailer in Japan. And apparently -- or not -- it's all that and a bag of Combos over there, which I find hard to believe... Read on...
So, as I said, I was totally psyched! Rrr... until I actually checked it out. Um... WHAT? I couldn't have been more disappointed. Shapeless shirts. Bland, boring colors.
(Way boringer than these!)
Come on, Japan. I've never been there, but I KNOW you can do better. Not that it ever claimed to be, but Harajuku this certainly is not. (As an American who's not only SEEN "Lost In Translation," but also harbors a secret, shameful love of Gwen Stefani, I FULLY expect my Japanese exports to be FULLY kawaii, k?) The ONLY thing I could even fathom wearing was MAYBE their workout cropped yoga pants, but why on goddess' green earth would I even bother braving the riotous shoppers on Broadway when I could easily go to ... oh... I don't know... "Young Army" for the same pants, same price, possibly even cuter design? No reason I can think of. I know it's just a pop-up store -- the real deal launches later this year at a far larger space -- 546 Broadway, to the tune of over 36,000 square feet! -- but if it's just 36 times the same basics -- and I DO mean basics -- then I'll fully embrace the actually catchy jingles of Young Army (I actually think that "Get Your Fash-On" rap is pretty cute -- it's about 1000 times better than those performance fleece jingles, no?) and do my basics-shopping there. Oh, and speaking of... I was there the other day, and I was very surprised to find, much like Urban Outfitters, the F/W '06 stuff is actually quite cute -- Old Navy's even moreso than Urbs, dare I say? FINALLY well-fitting (read: tops longer than 20 inches) pieces:
And look! Cute jeans!
($25, And available in Short, thus saving me a trip to the tailor!!!)
They're totes doing what Urban should've been doing if they hadn't gone off the deep end and come out with a F/W line of stuff that looks like it took a bad trip back to a Seattle and crawled out of a circa-1991 Dumpster:
But I digress. Back to Uniq-no: It looks like their stuff (or at least their ads) in Japan is way cuter:
Or at least one would hope, right?