We caught up with Uniqlo’s Fashion Director Nicola Formichetti before the doors opened to their massive new store on Fifth Avenue. That’s 89,000 square feet, people.
Thoughts on the store?
It’s ginormous. I’ve been here a few times and every time I turn around there is another space. It’s the biggest store they’ve ever created. It feels like what future stores should look like. The future of Uniqlo starts here. It’s beautiful. It’s a very powerful design.
It reminds me of where the Jetsons would shop.
[laughs] It’s very Japanese. It’s minimalist. I was born in Japan so I was brought up with Uniqlo and now I’ve been working with them for 5 years. It’s still simple and affordable clothing for everyone. Now, we’re in the middle of New York on 5th Avenue. Who would have thought? I love that my friends in New York can experience the beauty of Uniqlo. I do other stuff like costumes and high fashion, but this is what I wear.
What’s the most interesting part of the store?
The escalators that go from the entrance to the third floor. They look like something from the Jude Lawmovie Gattica. I love that.
Congratulations on your recent Best Designer with a Nightlife Influence award from Paper magazine!
My first award in New York! Last year, I won British Fashion Creator of the Year Award and now this!
What else are you up to these days?
I’m always traveling, so whenever I’m here, I try to do normal things. I’m starting to feel like people are accepting me as a local, which is nice. I’m a New Yorker!
The critics were a little tough on your recent Mugler collection. How do you deal with that?
I had to show another side of the brand. I had to do something softer and more elegant, and we’re selling! I’ve always believed in what I’m doing.
Sometimes they build you up to tear you down.
That’s life. I’m just doing what I love doing. I’m happy with my team and my friends. It’s sold really well!
What are you obsessed with right now?
I can’t get away from Tumblr. I thought it was going to be a month-long thing, but it gets deeper and deeper.David Karp, the creator of Tumblr, is actually part of the Faces of Uniqlo campaign. He’s so young and so cool.