Uniqlo Holiday 2010
Featured in designboom.
Published in Gestalten’s Brand Spaces,
and Brand Experiences between Pop-Up and Flagship.
Brand spirit + Icon with a twist + Humor = “New” holiday
As a commissioned artist to create Uniqlo’s holiday environment, the creative challenge was to find a new approach to express this season—the time of the year with such high commercial pressure—without compromising the edgy techno-human soul of the brand. Our goal was to activate the retail environment to create a powerful brand experience.
How can familiar symbols be rendered in an unexpected manner? A slightly dark sense of humor seemed to be the answer: Taking a banal icon —Santa— and giving him a twist…a bit "kowaii" (scary) and a bit "kawaii" (cute) at the same time.
The end result was a bizarre hybrid between a Santa and an XXL Space Invader. Referencing these qualities so characteristic of Japanese mangas was one way to bring in the pop factor to the good (but over-used) Santa and staying true to the no-nonsense / rigorous / quirky / humanoid / off spirit of the brand.
The process involved researching origami forms that exist in the world, then making concerted choices that would be most brand-appropriate. The exciting and challenging part of the project was the R&D phase with our talented fabrication partners to find innovative ways to adapt the forms so that they are buildable at a superscale of 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 ft.), and seamless.
Supposedly, children wanted to snatch away the mini versions sitting in the store shelves because the big ones were too heavy to carry.