Site visits usually come later. At the site, I usually observe the visibility of the store from the street as well as the foot—traffic flow of the neighborhood.
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My objective is to create a store that communicates the brand's philosophy. So my answer would be different for every project because each client has a unique story. Also, I always pay attention to form, color, and details, which should be fresh each time. I think Uniqlo's aesthetic is not about adding on embellishments, but homing in on its principles and foundations.
Uniqlo's approach is to show those parts in a systematic way; my hope is that each customer will enjoy their own process of choosing what they like from the variety of merchandising. Working with Uniqlo is a dynamic and challenging experience, and I appreciate that they are open to bold ideas?
For the new store on 5th Avenue, they accepted my idea of creating a dynamic three—story—high ceiling for the ground floor. This location is one of the most luxurious retail areas in New York, and I think most companies would feel the need to maximize the selling space.
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But Uniqlo accepted my idea because they understood the impact that it would create on the interior. I think this shows how open-minded they are. I spoke with Yanai—san to understand the positioning of this store, and then I visited the site as soon as possible. If you take a look at its surroundings, the area is filled with flagship locations of the world's most famous brands. This is not only Manhattan but also a showcase to the world.
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Therefore, I considered how to express Uniqlo in a global retail scene, in a broader sense. Consumer spending.
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