The popular Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo entered the Indian market in 2019 with its first ever store in New Delhi. The brand is set to open its doors for the first time ever in the financial capital of India on October 6, 2023, with not one but two stores! Ahead of its first Mumbai store launch, Uniqlo announced Bollywood star, Katrina Kaif, as its very first brand ambassador in India. Joining the ranks of tennis star Roger Federer, who became Uniqlo’s global brand ambassador in 2018, Katrina’s one-year partnership will see her endorsing the brand’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection through an interesting blend of print, digital, and outdoor media, as well as in-store promotional material.

Uniqlo has amassed loyal customers for its unisex, casual clothing lines that appeal to individuals of all ages. The brand has been Katrina’s go-to for everyday essentials, she admires their functional and innovative products. The ZNMD star shared the announcement video on her Instagram and expressed her enthusiasm to take up the new role. “So Excited to be joining UNIQLO, one of my favourite clothing brands. Love the brand for its style, simplicity, and elegance,” she wrote. Over the next few days, the actress will be seen as the face of Uniqlo’s campaign films and posts across various digital and offline platforms.

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As part of Fast Retailing, Japan’s largest fashion group, Uniqlo retains its position as the flagship brand amongst a collection that includes GU, Theory, PLST Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam, J Brand and Helmut Lan. With a desire to captivate Indian shoppers, Uniqlo plans to expand its empire by adding two more stores to its current collection of 10. The company will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in India. Uniqlo India’s financial performance in FY22 saw a remarkable 64% increase in income, reaching Rs. 391 crore.

The Campaign

Initially, the brand teased the audience by putting up this cryptic post asking people to guess who the new brand ambassador was going to be.

After the launch film revealed it to be Katrina, they began posting the actress donning their outfits. Here, she is spotted wearing the brand’s signature Ultra Light Down Jacket, which is incredibly lightweight yet warm and compact.

The recent post showcases the actress in a soft, fluffy, and cosy Fleece. It’s a global bestseller and can be styled in various ways, providing extra warmth and comfort. The cute pink fleece is Katrina’s top pick for the season.

How Uniqlo Got Its Name

A 1949 Yamaguchi-based company, Ogori Shōji opened a unisex casual wear store in Hiroshima under the name “Unique Clothing Warehouse“. Initially, the brand was going to be registered as a shortened contraction of “unique clothing”. However, in 1988, during administration work in Hong Kong, the “C in the contracted name was misread as “Q“. Tadashi Yanai, the head of the family retail conglomerate, liked the sound of the error and shortened the name to “Uniqlo” across Japan. And that’s how the fashion brand got its name. In September 1991, the name of the company was changed from “Ogori Shōji” to “Fast Retailing“, and by April 1994, there were over 100 Uniqlo stores operating throughout Japan.

Katrina & Fashion

Kaif is a true fashion girlie. She has found her corner in the fashion space and has been busy aligning herself with initiatives that have a deeper fashion agenda. Earlier this year, the actress decided to sell her archive of outfits, costumes, and her personal wardrobe finds on the pre-loved clothing platform Saritoria in an exclusive sale. Uniqlo and Katrina’s collaboration is a perfect match and also refreshingly new between a celebrity and a fashion retail space in a one-of-a-kind Indian market.

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The brand’s Japanese-inspired minimal design language works perfectly for the Ek Tha Tiger star who prefers to have a wardrobe that offers seasonless longevity. Katrina Kaif is clearly a Uniqlo loyalist with an extremely relatable fashion collection. Amongst the masses too, you will find the fashion folks power-walking in plain darted trousers and tanks. Uniqlo’s basic t-shirts from the men’s section are quite the bestsellers. With Kaif being a solid proponent for what the fashion pack already loves, Uniqlo might not just be a well-kept secret but a great find.

In an interview with Vogue, Katrina Kaif mentioned that the Japanese culture and its design aesthetics fascinate her and thus this collaboration works. She finds Uniqlo’s clothing to be simple and versatile, which is perfect for daily wear. Given that her style is minimal, comfortable, and classic, she looks for the same in any clothing brand. “As an actor, I have been able to explore my love for fashion to its fullest. Over the years, my style has transformed into an easygoing aesthetic – I wear what I like, and what makes me comfortable,” said Kaif.

Katrina Kaif is a woman of great values and beliefs. Uniqlo’s promise of delivering high-quality and sustainable clothing connects with her. On talking about her decision to collaborate with the company she said, “Uniqlo creates clothes that are built to last, and their values of quality and longevity factored into my association with the brand. Recently, they are also concentrating on initiatives related to transparency and circularity, which are also important for me.”

Well, this was a collaboration waiting to happen. Partnerships like these are always more impactful since the actor/ brand ambassador themself believe in what the brand has to offer. Thus, convincing their followers and masses to try it out as well. Here’s to more value-adding alliances.