Uniqlo Lifewear Magazine - M


With the rise of e-commerce, audio books and digital magazines, one can’t deny the increasing power of digitalisation. Almost every industry, including fashion, has been channelling resources towards this phenomenon—except UNIQLO. The Japanese lifestyle brand has taken the opposite approach, albeit not entirely, by focusing efforts on its LifeWear magazine.

Earlier this week, we attended the UNIQLO spring/summer 2023 collection showcase, held at Singapore’s National Gallery. Apart from featuring the latest from its newest collection, the event also spotlighted its LifeWear magazine.

UNIQLO Spring/Summer 2023
The preview saw a beautiful and interactive set up, showing off the new looks of the season and presenting the functionalities of their garments in the coming warmer seasons.
UNIQLO Spring/Summer 2023
A special exhibition for UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine.

Related article: Marni And Uniqlo’s New Collection Puts A Kaleidoscopic Spin On Winterwear

Helmed by Takahiro Kinoshita, the publication is somewhat of a personalised catalogue. In it, we find not only the different looks from UNIQLO’s collection but also how the brand has been incorporated into the daily lives of individuals. Take for example how ballerinas use the brand’s Airism products during training or how it fits seamlessly into the Melbourne lifestyle with Melbourne Magic.

UNIQLO LifeWear Magazine

This month, LifeWear magazine is themed “The Art Of Everyday Life,” fitting with the brand’s spring/summer collection this year. The issue focuses on what exactly a comfortable life is and how its answer can differ from person to person. Perhaps through art, scenery, food or in the presence of loved ones.

UNIQLO spring/summer 2023

Related article: Marni’s Creative Director Francesco Risso On Collaborating With UNIQLO

“If it’s gonna cost the same as a commercial, then we would do one less commercial and do a paper magazine instead,” explains Kinoshita. Read one to find out why he believes print magazines still have a significant role to play in an increasing digitalised world and more.

UNIQLO LifeWear Magazine - My Takahiro Kinoshita
Mr. Takahiro Kinoshita, Editor-In-Chief of UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine

Despite LifeWear magazine being available in stores and online, you seem more interested in the printed version. Why is that so?

I think some of you may have heard that the president of Toyota has stepped down and that made headlines. When he was stepping down, he said in a speech, “I have become a little old-fashioned, so the future of cars has to enter a new chapter.” I was very impressed by what he was saying because I believe that even magazines have to enter a new chapter. So, I’m not trying to say that paper is superior to digital or vice versa. I’m not trying to be focused solely on paper. But I feel that, yeah, I’m just thinking that a new era for the magazines has come. 

UNIQLO LifeWear Magazine
UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine

Why is it important for a brand to have a proper magazine compared to a digital website or a content pillar that may be easier to manage?

Both myself and Mr Yanai, the president, love magazines. We believe that magazines still have that appeal that attracts and draws people. That’s why we spend a lot on this. But there are a number of sponsors who are interested in our magazine project itself that come and do interviews with us about this publication. So we are seeing the results of that–that it’s meaningful to do this. Iit actually costs about the same amount of money as it is to create a commercial. For us, we think “If it’s gonna cost the same as a commercial, then we would do one less commercial and do a paper magazine instead”, because not many companies are willing to do so. Many of them would do the commercial one, they would not do the paper.

What are your thoughts on the Singapore fashion scene, and to what extent does this affect the product range available in the territory?

Generally speaking, because it’s a tropical country, you would think that dresses or a simple shirt or skirt would be sellable. But actually, when you look into the numbers in Singapore, the sellable items can be Heat-tech, or their down jackets or all their winter and autumn clothing. So it was really surprising for me to find out that these autumn/winter clothing are selling so well in Singapore and when I think of the reason, it’s probably because the travelling has come back and also when it becomes a little cold, the people in this region, they tend to try to wear the winter or autumn clothing, they take the chance to wear this fashion and also maybe because indoors are really cold in Singapore. The air conditioning is quite strong. So yes, it came as a surprise to me that selling well in Singapore are the warm clothes. 

UNIQLO LifeWear Magazine
UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine

While UNIQLO is known to Singaporeans as a go-to brand for stylish, versatile yet comfortable garments, there isn’t much awareness surrounding the magazine. What would you do to drive more interest in the magazine?

The magazines are actually placed at the storefront but no one actually notices it. I think we should increase the touch points, not just the storefronts but we haven’t been working on that yet. So, I guess that’s where we have to work on. So yeah, that’s where we are right now other than the storefront, we have to make more touch points for the consumer who can access it to get access to the magazine so that’s where we have to work on. 

Related article: RE.UNIQLO Breathes New Life Into Unwanted Clothing

What are your ambitions for UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine on both a local and international scale?

I feel that it is important to create an attitude where we treasure both local and international equally. Many global brands select the global clothing to promote and then they are successful in that way. But for UNIQLO, we try to hear out local voices and make it reflect in our whole collection. So that’s how I feel. I think we have to discover from local to global. Here at UNIQLO we’re always thinking of that–to hear out the locals and to reflect it in our collection. 

UNIQLO LifeWear Magazine
UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine

UNIQLO’s LifeWear Magazine’s 8th issue available at UNIQLO stores now. You can also view their special site here.