Uniqlo and Kaws collection draws a crowd in Richmond, but not as big as first time

Uniqlo re-released one of its most popular collections on Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to its Richmond Centre location.

The clothing line is a collaboration between Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo and American artist Kaws. Their project made its debut earlier this year, inviting hundreds of local shoppers into a buying frenzy over a new line of T-shirts. 

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This second sell-off - a response to popular demand, according to the company - didn’t appear to draw quite as many shoppers, but still dozens of people lined up outside of the store Friday morning. One staff member working in the mall told the Richmond News she saw customers queuing up at 7 a.m. 

Richmond resident Erica Caalaman was among those who were in line at 7 a.m. She said the early start was worth it as she left the store with purchases for her family members, who are big fans of Kaws. 

Kaws is known for his expensive and unique art piece, but the collaboration with Uniqlo has brought the price of his T-shirts down to about $20 – a great deal, according to Caalaman. 

Caalaman said she thought most of the customers were there on Friday because they love the product, but she acknowledged that some of the shoppers were there to buy and resell the limited-edition clothing at a higher price online.

However, Uniqlo had set up a policy to avoid bulk buying for the purpose of re-selling. 

Sunny Ting, another shopper,bought T-shirts for her sister who was out of town. Ting said each customer was only allowed to buy one of each item. 

“You couldn’t buy multiples of the same garment. My sister prefers the pink shirt from the collection. I bought one for her as a gift,” said Ting, adding that the wait time wasn’t as long as last time.

“People were in and out of the store quickly.”

And while most people were there for the Kaw T-shirts, some customers were not even aware of the promotion.

Ken Tsang said as an Asian customer, he feels it’s hard sometimes to find clothes that fit. However, T-shirts from Japanese retailers suit him perfectly and are sold at reasonable prices. 

“I came here for random shopping, and then the big line caught my attention,” said Tsang.

“I thought everything was on sale, but I’m happy to find something good.”

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