The bus sides. The pop-up shops. The freaking zeppelin.
And now, the time has come for the real deal...
Welcome Uniqlo, the Japanese megastore’s very first West Coast flagship, opening Friday in Union Square.
The storefront’s original historic facade remains intact. But step inside, and it’s all sleek and futuristic. If you’ve been to any of their stores, it’s just what you’d expect—piles of colorful sweaters, shirts, jackets and other staples against a spotless backdrop of white.
There’s also the familiar technological influence you’d expect from a brand based in Tokyo. LED-illuminated staircases. Seven large monitor walls made up of 77 LCD screens. Lots of glass and skylights. Shirts made with fabric developed by the same carbon-fiber manufacturer for Boeing. (Hey, if it’s strong enough for a plane...)
What you won’t find at their other stores: a virtual-dressing-room experience they’re calling “Magic Mirror” technology. You’ll try on, say, the ultralight down jacket, stand in front of the “mirror,” then use an iPad-like screen to swap colors. It’ll also take pictures and email them to your closest friends and family—that, or post to Facebook.
Fitting rooms are so 2011.