What do actor Susan Sarandon, jazz musician Esperanza Spalding, Tumblr founder David Karp, Momofuku chef David Chang, and Gregg Breinberg, the music director of NYC's P.S. 22’s kids chorus, the Oscars-performing YouTube sensation, have in common?
They are all – along with Laura Linney, John Leguizamo, and Glee star Darren Criss, and 23 other big name (and should-be-known) New Yorkers – being featured in the latest Japan-based Uniqlo advertising campaign, “Voices of New York,” released in time for New York Fashion Week.
The innovative microsite incorporates video clips (such as this one of Criss), featuring New Yorkers talking about their inspirations while wearing the brand's fall collection.
The personality-based campaign promotes the October 14 launch of the Japanese fashion sensation's global flagship: an 89,000-square-foot store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street (still under wraps, below) in NYC's famed Rockefeller Center. A second NYC store (its third) opens a week later, a 64,000-square-foot store on Manhattan’s 34th Street, near Macy's and in the Herald Square shopping mecca.
The new ad campaign kicks off this week and will be seen in print (including The New Yorker magazine), on billboards, on taxi tops, and in the New York subways.
The wide variety of faces involved in the campaign is meant to communicate the brand’s “Made for All” tagline. “Through the ‘Voices of New York’ cast we would like to show that individuality is not found in clothing but in people,” commented Shin Odake, chief executive officer of Uniqlo, to WWD.
Similar to Gap's celeb-based black-and-white print campaign shot by Annie Leibovitz, Uniqlo has featured New York movers and shakers wearing its clothes in its in-store print magazine. Last month, Uniqlo also launched a "Voices of Bangkok" campaign (featuring locals such as singer Yaya) to promote its expansion in Thailand.
Also whetting fashionistas' appetites on the eve of New York Fashion Week and Fashion's Night Out: today's launch of the (sadly, final) collaboration J+ collection with designer Jil Sander, and a roller disco event at the High Line as part of Thursday night's FNO events in Manhattan — but judging by comments on the Uniqlo US Facebook page, fans would be happier with e-commerce in the US, given the scarcity of its retail stores in America.
Maybe Zara's new US web store will convince Uniqlo's corporate HQ in Tokyo to get online (and not just in line) to reach US fans of the brand.