Shochiku Kabuki x Uniqlo Project
We’re used to seeing fashion brands team up with like-minded labels, but for Uniqlo’s latest collaborative project, the retailer has enlisted a force entirely different.
Working in partnership with Shochiku Kabuki – the principal production company behind the traditional Japanese performance art of ‘Kabuki’ – the clothing brand has produced a capsule collection of printed separates inspired by the art form and its costuming.
Originating in the Edo period (1603-1868), Kabuki remains a well-respected entertainment form in Uniqlo’s homeland of Japan, being added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2005. Through its new collection, Uniqlo hopes to bring the “traditional world of performance art to the world of international pop culture”.
For men, the capsule line comprises 15 T-shirts and 16 pairs of ‘steteco’ – relaxed-fit, wide leg shorts – each incorporating vibrant, Eastern-inspired prints. From graphic swirls to more intricate, detailed patterns, each motif has been adapted directly from traditional costuming worn by Kabuki performers.
Sticking to its traditional silhouette, Uniqlo’s line-up of T-shirts is juxtaposed with unmissable statement graphics, providing eye-catching yet easily thrown-on pieces for the upcoming season.
Paired with a breezy pair of steteco, you’re all set for the warm-weather months.
Ennosuke Ichikawa IV
However, the Japanese brand’s dedication to Kabuki does not stop there, enlisting the talents of one of the country’s best-known performers to act as the line’s ambassador. Ennosuke Ichikawa IV actively creates and stars in a wide range of Kabuki productions, and is hailed as one of the most popular performers in Japan.
Along with Uniqlo, Ichikawa will help to “offer new cultural ideas from Japan and share them with the world”, according to the brand.
The Kabuki x Uniqlo collection is available from today in stores nationwide and online, with prices starting at £12.90 for T-shirts and £9.90 for steteco.