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Uniqlo taps Takashi Murakami for retail collab


Street artist Takashi Murakami has teamed up with Japanese retailer Uniqlo, unveiling a colourful capsule collection at the fast-fashion firm’s New York flagship.

Inside Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue store, the UT collection of T-shirts feature vintage Murakimi art prints taken from ‘Doraemon’, a Japanese manga series created in 1969, that stars robot-esque cat of the same name, which is sent back in time to guide a teenage boy, Nobita.

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Dubbed ‘Anna koto iina dekitara iina’, the graphics were recently conceptualised for the Doraemon exhibition at Tokyo’s Mori Arts Center Gallery in Roppongi last November, before being incorporated into t-shirts and a plush toy, now seen at Uniqlo.

The collection is located on the second floor of the Fifth Avenue store, surrounded by comic book floral wallpaper, centred by giant floral-covered plush Doraemon.

As for the t-shirts, the artist’s main characters, Doraemon and Nobita, feature on the pieces, alongside secret gadgets and Murakami’s signature flowers.

A Uniqlo spokesperson said the store had nearly sold out of the 3,000 plush Doraemon toys it had ordered, and hailed the firm’s long association with art prints and the success of these collections, by offering them at an affordable price.

“We were the first to put art on T-shirts. We always connected Warhol to democratizing art, and during the current era, the democratization of fashion is occurring. Uniqlo is always thinking about the democratization of fashion and art,” the spokesperson said.

Murakami is no stranger to fashion collabs. The Japanese artist has teamed up in the past with former Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs for a line of handbags covered with cherries and other signature graphics, and limited-edition collections for Vans, as well as working with the Visvim Kiefer Hi-Suede sneakers and Supreme skate decks.

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More recently, he has teamed up with Virgil Abloh for an art exhibition and will unveil a collection of Off-White totes this season.

The Uniqlo X Murakami collection will be sold in select stores and online. T-shirts start at $9.90.