The Secret to Uniqlo’s Overwhelming Success and Japan’s Textile Industry

Uniqlo noticed that casual clothes are ageless more importantly they are unisex. Until that time they had made clothes aimed solely at young men, but started creating clothing for people of all ages and both sexes. Uniqlo combines the back-to-basics approach of American Apparel, the competitive pricing of Old Navy, and the foreign edge of a Zara or H&M. However Uniqlo’s problem is that they have issues self identifying because what they say they are isn’t what they seem to be. Since the brand’s philosophy is “un-branded fashion”, their design is simple and noncommittal, without using brand logo on the face. However they are trying to compete with foreign “high end look” clothing brands like H&M and Zara which poses as an issue because that is not what they look like. The target range is all ages; from infants to seniors which I also find an issue in. I feel as though they are trying to do everything while not succeeding in doing anything. I feel as though if they focused on a smaller target market instead of everything for everyone they would be able to succeed in a specific market.



By the 1960s, Givenchy, setting new trends and embracing certain aspects of youth culture, had begun to favor shorter hemlines and straighter silhouettes in his designs.

Givenchy designed for many celebrity clients, but his best-known client (who became a close personal friend) was Audrey Hepburn. Givenchy and Hepburn met in 1953, when she was just a rising star; he designed her costumes for Sabrina (1954) and helped to define her classic, gamine style. Over the following decade, he designed her costumes for Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Charade (1963), Paris When It Sizzles (1964) and How to Steal a Million (1966). The Givenchy brand also released a fragrance inspired by Hepburn called L’Interdit.


Givenchy remained very feminine throughout the 60-70s designing for celebrity icons and created a certain image with his brand. Modern day this image changed from feminine to dark romantic.

look from 1960’s

look from 1970’s

Alexander McQueen Label Overview

This NY Magazine article talks about the brands successes and sales for their different labels. McQueen offers different levels of luxury lines to more affordable ready to wear clothing that’s more accessible. It was interesting to find out that even before McQueen’s death, Gucci Group took over more than half of the company and that it when the company started branching out more.

Group Prompt for Uniglo

Uniglo is a brand that started in Japan and is making its way across the world as a global fashion shop. Uniglo is expanding and is now the fourth largest retailer world wide. They follow behind Zara and H & M. The brand is only 30 years old, and has many goals for the future in expansion.

When my group looked at the history we noticed that they have expanded extremely fast in England back in 2006. However, this was not as successful as the company thought and was forced to close many locations. After this loss, they have been much more careful in their expansion. They have goals in the USA to have over 1000 stores by 2020, and currently have over 30.

The company has a very strong theory of “Clothes for a better life. For everyone, everywhere” With this statement, the CEO wants to keep wages the same no matter what country someone might live in. This means someone working in Japan as a manger, would have the same salary as a manager in USA and England. I think this is unrealistic based on the value of money and the success of the store in different countries.

The theory the company has is also confusing based on how they advertise in different countries. One country seems to be more street chic, while others are more high fashion. This is confusing and does not add up based on the theory of the company.

Zara’s Group Post- Zara does not have a self image but they have a BIG Idea

Zara might not come up with their own designs or create their own clothing, but they are however, truly successful with the BIG idea that have come up to make them one of the most popular stores around the globe. They spill their details on how they did not need to come up with a new invention or a product, just a new way of selling that would help their company climb to the top in which they did. So what they came up with is instead of actually hiring world class designers, they just simply copied them, as the article says “politely” copies them, in my opinion I do not think there is an actual way you can politely copy a designer such as Tom Ford or Prada who have worked so hard to get where they are today. Zara is taking the easy way out and although some artist are actually flattered by the way Zara sells more affordable clothing that matches what they design, others are furious and are starting to call Zara out on magazine ads and blogs. What happens when the designers actually begin to put a stop to Zara and they have to stop and think of something different, it may seem harsh to push Zara into creating a whole new design because this what they built their company on. The unfortunate event is Zara might one day have to face this, and what will happen to them after this.. the positive to this is if customers keep making the decision to purchase products from Zara because they are cheap, and constantly coming out with designs that have not even come out yet, then Zara will remain at the top. They will never have a self image, but the audience image will stay up and will continue to grow. Let’s see what the future holds for Zara and what this means as them being “copy cats”.

Alexander McQueen – Dress the way

Alexander McQueens clothing is definitely not the norm. It is over the top, intriguing and to say the least, can be very challenging to wear. Dressing the McQueen way doesn’t have to be about showing off your high fashion sense, instead you can wear McQueen to represent who you are and stand out from the crowd. Standing out doesn’t have to be extravagant with the full two piece outfits you see on the runways. It can simply be a over the top sweater or a t shirt with a slogan. For those who are intimidated by the unique clothing, there is a more subtle way to wear McQueen. In 2005, Puma and Alexander McQueen combined forces and made a shoe line. They wanted sneakers that can dress down your dress up clothing. Personally, I think it is great that McQueen has all these options that can fit to everyones needs and comfort level.

Urban Outfitters Group Post – Is Urban one company? Or many divisions?

Urban was first established in 1970. Thirty-three years later, the company has grown to manage three distinct brands: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. Although these are considered brands of Urban, they all have their own individual stores and e-commerce sites. They also operate under the Terrain and BHLDN brands but are more commonly known for the first three brands listed. After reviewing Part 1, Item 1 of the Form 10-K I feel as though Urban is technically one company, with different brands within the company. They have one Form 10-K and include all brands within this, rather than having a separate one for each brand. They originally created Urban Outfitters and then began to branch off from there opening their first Anthropologie store in 1992, followed by Free People in 2002. In general, one can say Urban, Anthropologie, and Free People all offer basically the same thing in regards to their merchandise: mens and women’s casual apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty, and home/gifts. Their store environments are also all very similar, which I learned from both the descriptions online and from actual personal experience having been in all these stores before. It is the target age range that differs from store to store, but again, it does not vary all that much. Other than that, they are essentially all the same stores being run as different brands by one main company. Their target customer is said to be educated, urban-minded individual in the 18 to 30 year-old range offering to many different clients Urban Outfitters is more than one company, and is branded that way in there merchandise selection. Urban Outfitters offers an eclectic mix of merchandise. In their stores they have mixed media as well as fashion, like contemporary art, music and fashion.
Urban Outfitters is a company that is much more than apparel. It sells everything from home furnishings to make up to gadgets and accessories and much more. All of these items fall under the Urban name however, not all are the Urban. Some of the items are from other brands- this does not mean that Urban Outfitters is not one company. Like many other retail stores, Urban Outfitters sells other brands through their store. J.Crew is another example of a company that does that same thing. They sell Ray Bay and Vans through their store as exclusive pieces. Urban Outfitters has the same type of approach. We feel as though this approach is very common among retail stores and does not necessarily mean that Urban Outfitters is more than one company. Urban outfitters online site offers products for: home and gifts, vintage items, and women’s, and men’s clothing and accessories. Under each separate tab there are multiple dropdown options to choose from. The home and gifts tab offers a variety of products ranging from skateboards, kitchen and bar products, wall art, and cameras. Not many of the items offered on the site are available in stores but certain products such as fun and games, vinyl and cd’s, and stationary products are sold in stores. Along with the multiple clothing and accessories products for both men and women. Urban outfitters sells nearly every article of clothing you could look for whether it be active wear, loungewear, or swimwear. They also have a Halloween Shop tab currently on the website pertaining to the season. Urban also sells a variety of shoes in store as well as online. It is hard to tell if Urban Outfitters itself is one big company or just a company containing several divisions although it is clear that they do contain several separate products under separate sections.

Givenchy post Givenchy

“An hour after Hubert de Givenchy presented his final haute couture collection here today, the owners of the Givenchy fashion house named its new designer: John Galliano, the British designer who has been credited with putting couture style into ready-to-wear clothes.

Mr. Galliano’s first collections for Givenchy will be an haute couture line that will be shown in January and a ready-to-wear line to be shown in March. He will continue to design for his own label.

The last couture show for Mr. Givenchy, 68, was an emotional one, as his white-smocked atelier workers shared his bow. Yet, the choice of the irreverent Mr. Galliano, 34, to head a couture studio gives a much-needed lift to the art. It is both an affirmation of the future of couture and a vote for unpredictable, whimsical creativity in fashion.” -New York Times Archives July 12, 1995.

Taken over by LVMH in 1995, John Galliano was briefly appointed as head designer from 1995 to 1996

1996 John Galliano for Givenchy mimics classic stylings of Givenchy.

1996 John Galliano for Givenchy mimics classic stylings of Givenchy.

Followed by Alexander McQueen, 1996 – 2001.

Alexander McQueen for Givenchy 1997

Alexander McQueen for Givenchy 1997

We know from previous presentations that Alexander McQueen is known for his outrageous avant-garde fashions. This seems to be the major shift for the Givenchy brand from the classic formal wear worn by Audrey Hepburn to avant-garde.

Givenchy has a completely different look today.

Givenchy SS15

Givenchy SS15

Group Prompt On Uniqlo

The question that my group was asked to answer was; is how can Uniqlo be everything to everyone, when they seem to market their clothing differently based on location.

After going through Uniqlo’s different Instagram pages we noticed that their UK Instagram is very editorial while their US Instagram is much more laid back.

The conclusion that we came up with is that Uniqlo really does have an identity crisis. The brand seems to contradict themselves on more than one occasion. Their clothing is clearly not meant to be worn every day by everyone. The proof is in their Instagram posts. They believe that consumers in the UK are more into high fashion than consumers in the US. If they truly believed that their clothing was designed for everyone, they would simply use 1 Instagram account.

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The photograph on the top was taken from their UK Instagram account. It has a very polished feel and the outfit is very put together. The image on the bottom was taken from their US Instagram. The picture does not look professional and although both the outfits have a layered look the outfit on the right is very disheveled.

Uniqlo needs to change their marketing strategy. Instead of claiming that they design everyday clothing for everyone, they should make it clear that they make different clothing for different people.

In the article I have listed above, the founder of Uniqlo claims that “he is aggressively exporting Uniqlo’s everyman, everywoman, and everychild style around the globe”.  Even though the clothing may be worn all around the world there is no such thing as a everyman or everywoman style.

Alexander McQueen Zeitgeist elements

Alexander McQueen was not only a designer, but an artist who was recognized for his exceptional and innovating ideas.Though Many elements such as consumer segment, fiber/fabric, technology/innovation/media, celebrity icons, and dominating ideas are all elements that can be associated with the McQueen label,the two zeitgeist elements I found to be most appropriate for where the label is now are the elements art/design and dominating events.

His passing in 2011 was a dominating event in the history of fashion as the industry was at loss of another great designer. McQueen had obvious demons inside him that were both heartbreaking yet intriguing to see once portrayed into designs. Being that the zeitgeist influences the culture of a particular period in time, McQueens tragic passing in 2011 resulted in the label loosing the edge it once had. As a result of his death, the label appointed Sarah Burton to be the new designer for the McQueen label. Though Burton still incorporates the same tactics and tailoring techniques as McQueen, the change in designers has caused a lack of influence amongst our culture. McQueen was dark, inspiring, and addressed issues in our society while Burtons shy and more reserved side is reflected in her collections.

Another Zeitgeist element that seemed more appropriate to me was the element art/design. McQueen was often seen merging historical references, societal issues, nature, art, movies, music, media, and his own emotions into modern day designs. The designer used inspiration from both the present and the past to incorporate in his collections. In Spring 2004, McQueens show was inspired after the film “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” where he used the time period of the great depression and the culture associated with it in his collection. He was infamous for wowing his audience, consumers, and friends through his designs which many considered to be artwork.

The dominating event of his passing that caused the label to loose the edge it once had, as well as the art and design that inspired McQueen while he was alive to than inspire us, are the sole reason as to why these two elements seem better suited to be chosen as the two most important.