About 100



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Whenever I decide to start something new, I always get a new pair of jeans.

A new job, a new project, a life-changing encounter, a new place to live, start of a journey… a clean pair of jeans gives me that lift and confidence for the new beginning. It also kind of works as a journal for the journey ahead.

There’s this thing I always do when I buy a new pair. I turn it inside out and write my resolution on the left pocket.

This time, I wrote “New York.”

So, when I started my way to New York from San Francisco, I wore this new pair, ready to start my life in a new city.

Years down the line when I find the words “New York” on the inside, I bet it will take me straight back to that moment, and I’ll feel that affection for its distinctive wear, the time it has lived through.

Jeans are not like other clothes. One with torn knees or pockets, another with a stain, or one that still carries that newness. Each have their own story to tell, like a diary. For me, I’ll just flip it over and know what my resolution was at that time.

I always wash jeans separately, always inside out. When finished, I straighten out the creases well then take the time to dry it, still leaving it inside-out.

Interestingly, washing a pair of denim has a refreshing effect on the soul, a recharge for a new day.

When they are dry, I fold them, still leaving them inside-out, which tells me that this pair is freshly washed. I can also see the words on the pocket.

I stack the inside-out folded denim in the closet, each one being a piece of my history, my resolution, and promise.

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Choosing which pair to wear is like deciding which friend I would want to see on that day.

That’s how I am with my jeans. Once I know which one to put on, I flip it over, pull it up, and close the rivet button. And yes, there’s nothing like that sensation when I put the belt through the belt hole!

With a brand new pair, with New York on the inside, I set off on another journey.


Serious Denim

UNIQLO took on the challenge and commitment to create denim that was all about quality and silhouette, letting décor and design take the backseat. For the all-important material, we used selvedge denim* from the world’s leading denim fabric producer, Kaihara.


Selvedge denim is considered rare, as it’s produced on shuttle looms that require more effort and higher technique. This results in its beautiful dimension and texture. With wear, this textured surface settles vertically, creating a uniquely deep tone.

*Kaihara’s selvedge denim is used for 69 NAVY only.


Hell's Kitchen

It was just after four when I got to New York. When I gave my hotel address to the cab driver at JFK, he muttered, “Hell’s Kitchen…”

It was one of those cheap hotels that this backpacker I met at the hotel in San Francisco told me about.

“What do you mean, Hell’s Kitchen?,” I asked. “Just like the words — kitchen from hell. It’s alright by me but not a place for a tourist like you,” he laughed.

The taxi was rather clunky and difficult to climb into, with a horrible spring under the black leather making it very uncomfortable to sit. There was a pitch-black Doberman riding shotgun who occasionally turned this way, giving me a nasty glare.

This was the first time I got on in a checker cab, the iconic New York taxi with its yellow body and the checkered design.

The smells of coffee and disinfectant filled the car. “Are you in a hurry?,” the cabbie asked. “Not really,” I said, but he stepped on the gas anyway and sped towards the freeway.

We went over the Queensborough Bridge and headed straight into Manhattan with all the skyscrapers. Everywhere you looked, people were rushing, with taxis and trucks honking at each other and zooming by.

On the radio was the news in Italian. The roads were so bumpy that you had to hold on tight or you could easily bump your head on the ceiling. Regardless, the cab sped on.

Angry? In a rush? Or simply excitable? This was my first impression of the city. It was a stark contrast to San Francisco for sure.

As soon as we arrived in Hell’s Kitchen, the cabbie dropped me off and again sped off down the street.

Hell's Kitchen image

So this is what they call Hell’s Kitchen… it just had this great tone to it, so New York.

The cabbie told me that this is where you find the good ol’ New York, and they call it Hell’s Kitchen because you can enjoy dishes from around the world.

The hotel was on the 7th floor of this dated, busy-looking building. Thank goodness for the small signboard.

The shirt on my back, the sweater, and the sneakers all looked tired but I held my head high, thanks to my brand new pair of jeans.

My time in New York begins today, I thought, as I gazed at the Chrysler Building soaring in the twilight.


Innovation fused with tradition

The traditional selvedge denim — which denim fans go crazy over — now comes with a stretch function. This is a denim revolution, where comfort comes with the original rough expression. A low-waist design with a snugger fit. A versatile slim-straight design that steers clear of being too on-trend.


The design is balanced with the front pockets and the hip points positioned slightly higher. The engraving on the rivets that strengthen the front buttons and the pockets adds stature to this fine denim.

The freshly-washed pair,
folded, still inside out.
The type of jeans you want
to write your promise on.

Yataro Matsuura
About LifeWear Story 100

What is “LifeWear story 100?”

there exist these lines of clothes
which has remained for many years,
yet never dated.
Out of the line-ups,
they are the unsung presence,
sitting quietly behind in TV ads.

Yet, they are the culmination
of the years of passion and devotion,
where UNIQLO sought to pursue
more comfort,
more durability, and
more quality.

They give shape and gravitas
to what and who UNIQLO is,
and what UNIQLO continues
to nurture with great care.

To go beyond yesterday,
to reach higher tomorrow.

When you take it in your hands,
when you try it on,
it softly speaks to you,
almost like a friend.

What is a rich quality
How is such a quality day spent?
What does happiness mean to you…

And you will find yourself
surprised to discover that such
piece of clothing has existed.

What is the UNIQLO principle?
Why do we call clothing LifeWear?
What kind of clothes constitute

Here, we go deep into
the root of LifeWear,
to know
and to tell.
And I hope to write
stories that revolve
around LifeWear and myself.

LifeWear story 100 will be
a story about a journey with me and LifeWear.

Yataro Matsuura

Yataro Matsuura
Yataro Matsuura

Essayist, editor. Born 1965 in Tokyo.
For nine years from 2005, under the leadership of the founder, Shizuko Ohashi, he was the chief editor for the magazine, “Kurashi no Techo.” Since, he launched an online media site, “Kurashi no Kihon.” Currently, sits as a director for Oishii Kenko Ltd. Recognized for his eye for style and experience in presenting ideas for quality lifestyle. Regularly writes in his columns in newspapers and magazines. Has penned numerous best-sellers including “Kyo mo Teinei ni” and “Shigoto no Kihon Kurashi no Kihon 100.” Hosts a radio program on NHK Radio 1, “Karen Style.”