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ART AT UNIQLO: A BRIEF HISTORY

Jan 28, 2021 LifeWear
In celebration of the upcoming launch of our new Louvre Museum UT collection
For many years, we have proudly brought the world collections of unique graphic print T-shirt designs that celebrate the art, franchises, brands and pop culture we all know and love in the form of UT.

Art remains, and will always continue to be, an integral part of UT's history and direction. We have been honoured to work in close collaboration with some of history's most celebrated and revered artists by providing their work a brand new canvas to be presented on in the form of a blank T-shirt. UT exists to give everyone the opportunity to wear the art they love, and it has been graced by an impressive roster of familiar faces and names.

We have created UT collections with celebrated pop art figures, new and upcoming artists and even with institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in Boston, the Natural History Museum in London and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. We celebrate art both old and new; from centuries-old edo-era ukiyo-e paintings to contemporary Japanese manga titles like Weekly Young Jump.

We are pleased to usher in 2021 by announcing a new four year partnership with the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The aim of this new partnership is to offer a wide-ranging programme that matches the desire of both parties to better familiarise the public with the museum's must-see masterpieces and thereby increase the joy of art in everyday life. The first UNIQLO x Musée du Louvre collection will be available from Februrary 4th.

In celebration of this new partnership, we'd like to revisit some of the most iconic and influential names to have graced UT over the years and look back at the legacy of their popular print collections.

ANDY WARHOL



As the pre-eminent American artist of the 20th Century, Andy Warhol challenged the world to see art differently. His timeless artwork and evocative ideas continue to have a profound influence on the modern day world. We’re proud to have produced numerous UT collections bearing his trademark pop-art style, the universe of Warhol’s creation that endures in popularity and relevance even today.


Coming soon: the Andy Warhol x Kosuke Kawamura collection. This UT collection showcases the familiar genius of Warhol reimagined by Japanese artist Kosuke Kawamura.

KEITH HARING



A key figure in New York's East Village scene in the late 1970s and 80s, American artist Keith Haring's work populated not only art galleries, but also the city's subways, streets and sidewalks. An icon of counterculture art with an iconographic artistic vocabulary, Haring drew inspiration from graffiti artists, pop art and the underground culture of the world around him.

We are proud to have had Keith's art celebrated at UT in the form of many collections, each examining a different theme or perspective from his work. The Keith Haring x Tokyo UT collection celebrates Keith Haring’s works created and influenced by Japan between 1983 and 1988. During his travels to the country, he initiated several projects included solo exhibitions and public art projects, including Pop Shop Tokyo. He also produced a number of unique works that combine his own style with Japanese culture and influences. This UT collection showcases his memorable artworks created in Japan.

Mickey Mouse x Keith Haring pays homage to the influence Walt Disney had on Haring’s work, who learned to draw Disney's Mickey Mouse from a Disney "how-to-draw" book he found at his grandmother's house. Well into his teenage years, Haring wanted to be a cartoonist, with the hope of one day working for Disney, though he ultimately went on to study fine art. Eventually, Haring's passion for both cartooning and the visual arts combined in what became his unique and widely recognised style. Mickey Mouse is a recurring figure in Haring's art. When asked why, he said Mickey is "ultimately a symbol of America more than anything else."


HOKUSAI



Truly timeless art endures throughout the ages. Many times, UT has paid homage to some of Japanese history's most respected artists, including Hokusai Katsushika and other ukiyo-e artists from the Edo era of Japanese history.

Hokusai Katsushika was born in Honjo Warigesui, Edo. He flourished in a number of areas including Yakusha-e (ukiyo-e prints of popular kabuki actors) and book illustration. He learned a wide range of techniques from Chinese to Western paintings, and produced landscape paintings by applying the shadow method and the laws of perspective. To this day, he remains one of the most international renowned Japanese artists.

We have curated a number of UT collections in celebration of Hokusai’s remarkable work, each centering focus on one unique aspect of his inimitable art style, including his general use of colour and – more specifically – the prominence of blue in many of his famous works. The result is a number of collections of T-shirts, short sleeved summer shirts, hoodies and even shorts enhanced with Hokusai’s legendary signature style.

Explore our latest Hokusai Colours UT collection and our Edo Ukiyo-e lineup of T-shirts.

JASON POLAN



Jason Polan, originally from Michigan, lived in New York following college. His work is exhibited all over the world. He was the founding member of the Taco Bell Drawing Club. Polan did projects with The New York Times, The Ford Foundation, The New Yorker and more. Polan continued to draw every person in New York until his death from cancer at age 37.

Jason was an exceptionally talented artist and a genuinely kind person. He had the rare gift of making the most everyday things beautiful and interesting. It was an extension of the way he lived his life. Jason graced UT with his unique interpretations of popular Marvel characters in the popular collection Jason & Marvel.


Our upcoming memorial collection honours his work with some of Jason's favourite iconic drawings, as well as celebrates new art from his Every Person In New York book.

JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT



1980s New York art scene wunderkind Jean-Michel Basquiat developed a distinctive iconography influenced by art history, music and pop culture. His paintings, drawings and prints drew on a diverse range of inspirations; from African, Aztec, and Greek cultures to Americana in the form of jazz, baseball, and social commentary.

Our UT collections have explored his beloved style, as well as his connection to pop culture including DC's beloved Super Heroes and Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes characters that inspired Basquiat as a child, later to be featured in some of his signature artworks. Explore the Jean-Michel Basquiat x Warner Bros. UT collection.


LOUVRE MUSEUM: AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 4TH



Discover the Louvre Museum UT Collection


The Louvre has been at the core of French history for over eight centuries. A royal palace originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century, it became a universal museum in 1793. Today it is the world's most visited museum. Open to all, it features over 35,000 of the world's finest artworks, spanning 9,000 years and five continents.

A lasting union of two worlds. What happens when the rich heritage of the Musée du Louvre unites with UNIQLO’s vision of daily life? From legendary paintings to sculptural masterpieces, centuries of creativity, artistry, and philosophy are also made accessible today via the LifeWear concept. The boundaries between art and fashion, plus time and space, are dissolved - and a new sense of beauty is born. The UNIQLO x LOUVRE partnership offers a joyful opportunity to appreciate art in daily life.

Discover the women's collection: Musée du Louvre: Blossoms of Diversity. A beautiful UT collection focusing in on the “diversity of women” found among the Louvre Museum’s art collections. Carefully selected works that feature diverse and captivating women from the art collections in Paris’ Louvre Museum. Renowned works of fine art reinterpreted into stylish designs that further accentuate their beauty.

Discover the men's collection: Musée du Louvre: Art and Logic by PETER SAVILLE. A brilliant collaboration between the renowned graphic designer Peter Saville and the Louvre Museum. The masterpieces of Paris’ Louvre Museum, newly interpreted under the theme of “Art and Logic” by the renowned Peter Saville. Saville has visualized the composition after discovering the world famous works were known at the Louvre simply by their accession numbers and used this as a starting point to create his theme.


This collection captures carefully selected works that feature diverse and captivating women from the art collections in Paris' Louvre Museum in a new light. These renowned works of fine art have been reinterpreted into stylish designs that further accentuate their beauty.