Wearing MoMA, By UNIQLO
As the Arts & Business Council of New York Program Coordinator for Americans for the Arts, I’m always on the lookout for great examples of partnerships between the arts and business. If you have found yourself on Fifth Avenue recently, you may not have had to look very far. You probably noticed a large “SPRZ NY” advertisement accenting the window of UNIQLO’s flagship store on the corner of 53rd Street. You may have also turned that corner and continued on to the Museum of Modern Art. This close proximity is just the start of a dynamic partnership between the two. SPRZ NY, UNIQLO’s latest collaboration with MoMA, its midtown neighbor, merges the worlds of visual art and fashion. The now global project, unveiled this past spring, celebrates innovative artists like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. The result is a line of clothing and accessories featuring art work from MoMA-approved artists originally and exclusively produced and sold in New York.
The SPRZ NY items are displayed in glass on UNIQLO’s newly remodeled second floor. Shoppers are exposed to an experience close to what they may have at MoMA just down the street. The works are not merely items to be purchased, but art to be admired as patrons pass through the space.
This partnership not only enhances the MoMA and UNIQLO brands and fuels traffic across 53rd Street, but also creates an innovative and personalized experience for shoppers and museum visitors alike. For UNIQLO, the partnership brings vibrancy to their workplace and helps them communicate marketing messages in engaging ways. Larry Meyer, CEO of UNIQLO USA said, “Manhattan attracts people from all over the world, and New York is associated with art and culture. Even though UNIQLO and MoMA both operate in different fields, we both aim to promote art as widely as possible. It’s a great match”. For MoMA, this match brings mobility to their brand as countless UNIQLO customers leave the store with not only a new t-shirt but with the message of what inspired it.
The partnership between UNIQLO and MoMA might just be one that sets the tone as arts organizations and businesses across the city develop strategies to expand and engage their audiences.