Uniqlo has opened a new Oxford Street flagship store and revamped one further up the road and boy do they want you to know about it. I popped into the opening last night and a bigger fash bash I haven’t seen in a very long time. The store was wall-to-wall models and I don’t mean the naff Kimberley Stewart variety. I’m talking about uber-cool club kids with messy hair and shabby-chic outfits. I arrived towards the end so I missed the live band but there was plenty of DJ action and ‘look at me’ dancing, not to mention celebrity style eye candy in the form of Alexa Chung and The Kills’ Alison Mosshart.
While the guests were mostly interested in the free flowing cocktails, I thought it would be polite to check out the clothes. As I thought, it’s still all cashmere sweaters and badly-cut trousers with the odd directional piece thrown in (I saw a tweed cape). But really it’s all about the marketing and Uniqlo are streets ahead of Gap on this count. From the too cool party crowd to the collectable Uniqlo magazine full of gorgeous photos depicting aforementioned models styled by Dazed stylist Nicola Formachetti, perception of the brand is everything. A bash like this costs a fortune to produce but when the results will be on pap pages in every daily paper and in next Tuesday’s issues of Grazia, Look and Heat, as far as Uniqlo is concerned it’s worth every yen.