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Uniqlo's global flagship store in Manila just opened-and here's what you need to know.

Friday was a big day for Uniqlo-it opened its first global flagship store in the Philippines at Glorietta 5. Uniqlo Manila, Uniqlo's largest store in Southeast Asia, is paradise for Uniqlo fans. It is two storeys and 4,100 square meters of Uniqlo favorites-everything from Lifewear and UT shirts to AIRism and Heattech-which have become staples in the wardrobes of Filipinos.

'The opening of the global flagship store today has reminded me that it has been six years of great partnership between Uniqlo and SM, starting in 2012 when we first opened Uniqlo in the Mall of Asia,' said Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairperson of SM Investments Corp., on Thursday night at the launch party.

She paid tribute to Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo's founder and chief executive of Fast Retailing, who was present at the event. 'Uniqlo's success around the world reflects the success of Mr. Tadashi Yanai, the man behind the brand and a leader I admire. We're happy to partner with such a dynamic global figure who, despite all the crazy demands of operating globally, has always put special attention to the Philippines. The 51 Uniqlo stores that we enjoy today demonstrate Mr. Yanai's belief in the Philippine market.'

She said that while other companies dilly-dallied, Yanai 'decided to come in after just over a year of research and a 24-hour visit to the Philippines incognito.' Coson added, 'He liked what he saw and was determined to open 500 stores in the Philippines. That was when we decided to work together.'

Coson said, 'In my experience working with him, I discovered that not only is he one of the greatest visionaries of the world; he is a very hands-on person, he knows what is going on in all aspects of his business and he knows how to set a wild goal and achieve it. His leadership has truly changed the world.'

Uniqlo Manila is more than just a store, it's a celebration of two cultures coming together. Find Philippine touches everywhere-from the Our Future Is Here campaign featuring Filipino movers and shakers, to in-store music and art.

Some of our favorite picks include the Super Non-Iron shirt, EZY jeans, cashmere V-neck long-sleeve sweater, Women's U fleece tote bag, Minions UT shirt with a really cute pocket, Disney Collection Gift Set for babies, U oversized down jackets, the double face hooded coats, denim boyfriend shorts, seamless reversible parkas, Heattech legging pants, Airism legging pants, fluffy yarn fleece full-zip jacket, Beauty Light wireless bras, Hokusai Blue shirts and 2-way stoles.

Here are more things you need to know about Uniqlo Manila:

You can find the largest selection of UT shirts in the country at Uniqlo Manila. 'To Uniqlo, a shirt is not just a shirt,' we were told during a tour of the store. There are so many designs to choose from, with new lines focusing on art, culture and different characters. There are ramen-inspired shirts, shirts that pay homage to beloved eight-bit games by Namco Museum and Taito, Sanrio shirts and a seemingly endless array of Magic For All Mickey Mouse shirts, the result of a collaboration between Uniqlo and the Walt Disney Company.

There are Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat shirts in the new SPRZ NY line. Anime and manga fans will be thrilled to find collections featuring Naruto, One Piece and popular manga Weekly Shonen Jump which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

There are plenty of limited offers at the store now. We spotted special discounts on UT crew-neck T-shirts, rayon blouses, EZY ankle pants, Super Non Iron slim-fit shirts, Dry Pique polo shirts, Heattech, Ultra Light Down and so much more.

Uniqlo Manila shoppers can receive novelty items until Oct. 7. Get a limited-edition Uniqlo Manila tote bag with a minimum, single-purchase receipt of P3,000 and a limited-edition Uniqlo Manila tumbler with a minimum, single-purchase receipt of P5,000.

Uniqlo Manila will remind you of other global flagship stores around the world. The revolving mannequins in the store atrium display windows transported us to Ginza and Fifth Avenue.

Parents will love the Uniqlo Kids and Baby Section. There are so many great finds there.

There's a terrace at the store, featuring lounge furniture by designer Kenneth Cobonpue. It is the hope of the Uniqlo team that families and friends can hang out at the Uniqlo Terrace to relax and mingle after a tiring day of shopping.

Struggling to pack for a city with different weather? Visit the Smart Travel section which puts together travel essentials in one place, whether you're going somewhere warm, cold or in-between.

You can play Jump Force, a yet to be released game by Japanese company Bandai Namco Entertainment, right at the store. This is the first Philippine preview of Jump Force, which will come out in 2019. The game will be available for playing at Uniqlo Manila until Dec. 31. There's a Jump UT collection available, too, of course.

The store has its own soundtrack. Erwin Romulo and Malek Lopez worked with local music acts on creating new music inspired by a DNA track. These pieces were then used to put together Uniqlo Manila's soundtrack.

Be sure to check out the collaboration between Filipino designer Leeroy New and Japanese stylist Shun Watanabe. It will make you wish you can rock Uniqlo pieces like that on a daily basis.

Even the shopping bags are special. Plus63 Design Group worked with Uniqlo in creating murals depicting the Philippines' cultural zeitgeist. These works of art are featured on the Uniqlo Manila shopping bags. Spot them on the art pillars all over the store, too.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Oct 7, 2018
Words:1030
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