Rarely do you ever hear of a global retail giant collaborating with local leaders. But to our surprise, UNIQLO have done exactly that alongside sharing the spotlight on their 1st year anniversary.
With an aim to support artists and businesses at the heart of the Brisbane community, they've activated a campaign to bring local arts, culture and craftsmanship together.
We spoke with UNIQLO's Marketing Director, Tracey Lang who commented on the collaboration saying, "Craftsmanship in particular is relevant for UNIQLO because there is so much care and attention that goes into our products. So we looked for ... retailers who celebrated that."
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Noosa Longboards and Nook were announced as their birthday partners. To kick start the party, all three locals will have their products sold in the UNIQLO Queen Street store and in turn, they will also house a selection of UNIQLO products in their own stores.
Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) was first up on their list because of an on-going relationship they have in New York.
"Goma was the instant first choice ... [and] then we thought about what's the lifestyle looking like and what is it about Brisbane that makes it unique," said Lang.
I asked why they chose Noosa Longboards?
She replied, "Noosa is iconic, surfing is iconic and then we spoke to [owner] Michael Holmes who seemed great to work with. In fact he loved UNIQLO so much that when we opened our store in Indooroopilly, he had driven all the way down from Noosa to go to the opening."
Their next step was to think about their female demographic which secured Nook as retailer number three.
If you haven't heard, Nook has been a local favourite that is tucked away in a quiet corner of West End. They boast a carefully handpicked selection of ceramics, greeting cards, teas, home and garden goods, creative cookbooks, architectural and craft reading, clothing and quirky accessories.
"We spoke to [owner] Michelle Gilles and she said to us instantly, 'Oh my god, I've been on trips to Japan specifically just to buy UNIQLO and half my wardrobe is UNIQLO.' So it was just a perfect fit," said Lang.
To help customers celebrate UNIQLO’s one year anniversary, a number of free events will take place in store at UNIQLO in collaboration with each partner including:
-FANCY FREE PART I: AN ART EXPERIENCE, presented by QAGOMA. Hands on workshop hosted by renowned Brisbane artists Rachel Burke (artist, stylist, and photographer, designer) and Patience Hodgson (lead singer of The Grates, co-owner Southside Tea Room). Attendees will learn how to turn a humble pair of socks into a masterpiece. The first 100 customers to attend this event will receive a free pair of socks to beautify. All materials provided.
Friday 31st March
-FANCY FREE PART II: ANOTHER ART EXPERIENCE, presented by QAGOMA. Hosted again by Rachel Burke and Patience Hodgson customers can attend this art experience and create a truly unique wearable piece of art. All materials provided.
Friday 7th April
- TOM WEGENER, presented by Noosa Longboards. Customers will have an opportunity to meet Tom Wegener, 'world surfboard shaper of the year' as voted by Surfer Magazine USA. They can also see Tom work his magic while putting the finishing touches on one of his world renowned longboards. Tom will be available for book signings of his title "Surfboard Artisans: For the Love”.
Customers are welcome to attend for just a few minutes or the whole session, in a rare opportunity to see a master shaper at work, with a chance to win their very own hand crafted masterpiece created by Tom.
Saturday 29th April
10:00am – 1:00pm
- WEST END TEA TASTING, presented by Nook. Customers will be able to unwind from a busy week or to kick off their weekend with a brew from West End Tea, proudly serving the finest, hand-blended tea in Brisbane.
Friday 5th May
4:00pm – 7:00pm
- KESTER BLACK NAIL ART BAR, presented by Nook. Customers can get ready for the weekend with help from the ultimate Nail Art Bar. Nook will be showcasing the unique Kester Black range as well as some of Brisbane's finest nail artists. Customers are advised to arrive early as queues are expected.
Friday 12th May
4:00pm – 7:00pm
Further information will be available via UNIQLO Australia’s Facebook page ahead of each event.