TOKYO— Uniqlo has entered into a four-year partnership with the Louvre Museum in Paris that will see the Japanese fashion giant produce clothing lines with the museum, as well as sponsor some of its popular events. The program will launch with a collection of UT T-shirts for men and women featuring some of the Louvre’s most iconic works. In a statement, chairman and CEO of parent company Uniqlo Fast Retailing, Tadashi Yanai, called the partnership “a longtime dream come true.”
UT’s Louvre Museum collection is set to hit stores in select markets as early as February 4. The men’s line was created by British graphic designer Peter Saville, who rose to prominence in the early 80s with album covers he made for bands such as Joy. Division and new order. For his UT line, Saville focused on the hidden logic of art, such as the inventory numbers assigned to works of art in the Louvre’s collection, or the “golden ratio” often used in composition. works of art. He added his personal touch to some of the museum’s most famous works, including the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo.
“I was intrigued by the fact that in the Louvre, the famous Mona Lisa is known as the painting ‘No. INV 779’, which is its internal inventory number. I was inspired by that”, Saville said in a statement announcing the collection, “Like many people, when looking at artwork, I’m also aware of their constitutive geometry. I thought exploring that perspective on a T-shirt would be appropriate for this UT/Louvre collaboration.
The women’s line for UT revolves around works that highlight the female form, juxtaposing them with flowers or reimagining them in simple, modern outlines. In addition to the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, women’s creations also feature works such as La Belle Jardinière and L’Odalisque. T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available.
Uniqlo will strive to gradually expand its collection with the Louvre, adding new items until 2024.
In addition to the clothing collaborations, the partnership also includes Uniqlo’s sponsorship of the Free Saturday Nights program launched at the Louvre Museum in January 2019. The events encourage new visitors to discover the Louvre and its works of art in a relaxed environment, extending opening hours on the first Saturday of each month from 6pm to 9.45pm. While events are currently temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are expected to resume at some point in the future. In 2019, the Samedis Soirs Libres attracted some 160,000 people, mainly families and working people from the Ile-de-France region.
Uniqlo will also support a program at the Louvre called the Mini-Discovery Tour, which the museum launched in July last year. The 20-minute guided tours target families and will take place on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The new partnership with the Louvre is not Uniqlo’s first foray into the realm of art. The brand has an ongoing and popular collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and has also worked with the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA ) in Barcelona.