Uniqlo has succeeded where companies like the Gap, Urban Outfitters, and H&M have stumbled. With roots going back to 1949 but beginning in earnest in 1984, the fast fashion store has never slipped in providing stylish clothes at consumer-friendly prices and quality. After expanding to 100 domestic stores in its first 10 years and opening a successful location in the Harajuku - the heart of Tokyo's youth fashion scene - the chain began expanding overseas, arriving in SoHo, NYC in 2004 and set to launch more locations in the near future.
Partnerships with Jil Sander and Undercover ensured that the fashion set was on board, but the CEO of Uniqlo USA has explained the "Japaneseness" behind the company philosophy resonates with all people. Uniqlo doesn't dick-ride trends, but instead "offers clothing basics, but basics that are current, that respond to what's going on today in art and design." And at the same time, "the clothing is presented in an organized, rational manner," which are all characteristics of modern Japanese culture. What this results in is a corporate lawyer shopping in the same section as a fashion-forward downtown kid. And what that means is a whole lotta moolah for Uniqlo.