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Brooklyn-based artist and designer KAWS (Brian Donnelly) recently teamed up with fast-fashion staple Uniqlo for a limited Companion and BFF-themed collaboration. The artist has partnered with the chain retailer various times since 2016 when the two joined forces for their first capsule collection. The latest collaboration had no Sesame Street affiliation, however, the duo's popularity doesn't appear to be waning, as shoppers in China have confirmed.
The KAWS x Uniqlo collection was released in China on Monday, and before the shop doors had opened, hosts of fans lined up outside to get their hands on the limited-edition merchandise. Once they were granted access, however, shoppers began sprinting towards the products, violently pushing one another out of the way and engaging in tug-of-war tactics to procure their items.
Manya Koetse, editor-in-chief of social trend site What's On Wiebo, took to Twitter to share footage of the madness. She also reported that the collection sold out online within seconds after its release, and quickly became the No.1 trending topic on social media in China. She noted that some shoppers admitted, “I don’t even like UNIQLO, I just like to compete," and that by Monday evening in China, the hashtag “Everybody KAWS” (#全员kaws#) had received 140 million views on Weibo.
Part of the hype may have to do with this being KAWS' last collaboration with the fast-fashion brand. He took to Instagram to share photos of the Uniqlo storefront and tell fans, "I really hope you enjoy it because I have decided this collection with UT will be my last."
The collection is currently available in the United States, and will be released in Europe on June 6.