THE WESTFIELD GARDEN STATE PLAZA has been home to many a mallrat and, in recent years, has undergone a transformation from mass shopping mecca to luxury retail gallery. The latest addition, Uniqlo, is bumping up the mart’s profile to a global scale as the store’s first US mall location as well as its large selection of basics in a rainbow of hues will have shoppers in a tizzy when it opens on Friday.
The store itself boasts 43,000 square feet of space on two floors where men’s, women’s, and the newly launch children and babies’ collections are laid out with unconventional styling options and color combinations are displayed on hundreds of mannequins throughout the space. Along with the brand’s basics, its collaboration with Orla Kiely will launch at this locale as well as its Designer Invitation Project, featuring labels like GVGV, Double Standard, Good Morning Beautiful People, and Balcony & Bed.
Uniqlo’s USA CEO, Shin Odake, walked us through the space, which was modeled after designer and architect Masamichi Katayama original design. He highlighted the brand’s much-lauded Heattech and Cashmere options but recommended the Premium Ultra Light Down jackets as the must have item anyone new to the retailer should snap up. “It’s very lightweight, and you can basically fold it up into its small bag and carry it around,” he explained. “It comes in a lot of different colors. Usually a down jacket is quite heavy and bulky because you have two layers of fabric to contain the down feathers and prevent them from coming out, but using a specially made high-density fabric, we were able to eliminate that extra layer.”
For those of you headed to the Garden State for the opening, expect an opening ceremony you won’t soon forget! The may of Paramus, Richard LaBarbiera, will cut the ribbon with Odake, and guests can enjoy traditional Japanese Taiko drum performances throughout the mall. Patrons will also have the chance to win gift cards and merchandise with special sales on the Ultra Light Down, Japanese Engineered Denim, and Cashmere. Expect us one to be one of the many in line to snap up a few pieces for the season!