History Asia bares story behind the brand name ‘Uniqlo’

January 27, 2022 - 4:53 PM
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People wait in line to enter a Uniqlo store, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia June 12, 2020. (Reuters/ Lim Huey Teng)

A historical trivia about a popular clothing brand caught the attention of its patrons in the Philippines on Facebook.

History Asia, the Asian counterpart of the History channel, posted this week about the origin of the name of the Japanese retailer “Uniqlo” on Facebook.

Uniqlo is known for carrying affordable and minimalist clothing and accessories for customers of all ages and sizes.

In the post, History Asia stated that the brand name was only invented by accident.

It narrated that before Uniqlo, there was a gentleman’s clothing shop called Ogori Shoji that was established in March 1949.

After decades of steady growth, the company diversified its product range and rebranded into Unique Clothing Warehouse.

In June 1984, the first branch of the Unique Clothing Warehouse was opened in Hiroshima, Japan.

“Unlike their bespoke gentleman’s clothing store, Unique Clothing Warehouse provided ready-made clothing at an affordable price, making it a hit among local consumers,” the post reads.

Here comes the twist.

In 1988, the company was supposed to register this brand under the short portmanteau of Unique Clothing Warehouse, that is, “Uni-Clo.”

However, the staff member accidentally registered it as “Uniqlo.”

Instead of getting upset by this incident, the owners decided to run with typographical error, hence, the name of the fast-growing retailing brand.

“Today, Uniqlo reigns supreme as one of the top clothing brands in the world. With over 1000 stores all across the world, Uniqlo’s clothes and its iconic name have definitely become instantly recognizable for many fashionistas,” History Asia said.

“Do you own any clothing from Uniqlo?” it added.

The post immediately gained traction.

So far, it garnered over 5,500 reactions and 1,200 shares on the platform. Most of the reactions were also positive with 3,900 likes, 962, heart emojis and 654 shock emojis.

This post also reached the brand’s market in the Philippines.

Filipino patrons expressed how much they loved the retailer’s collections under History Asia’s comments section.

“I’m a big fan of Uniqlo, shirts, pants, they all fit my slim size and the textiles are really good, thank you UNIQLO,” one Facebook user said.

“Yep. All my polo long sleeves. Nice fitting and exceptional quality fabric,” another online user commented.

“Highly recommended for basics, quality, affordability, comfort and fit. Love their mercerized cotton tops, stretch jeans and kids’ clothing,” an online user wrote.

A Facebook user also said that he is glad the name was changed to Uniqlo.

“’WELCOME TO UNIQUE CLOTHING’ gosh, that’s a mouthful,” the online user said.

In October 2018, Uniqlo Manila opened its flagship store, the largest in Southeast Asia, in Makati City.

It is a 4,100-square meter retail space that became the home of all its product lines, including the clothes from its latest collection.