Uniqlo exhibition demonstrates its history of fabric innovation

Uniqlo and Toray's The Art and Science of LifeWear exhibition in New York

Uniqlo and Toray’s The Art and Science of LifeWear exhibition in New York

Uniqlo is hosting an exhibition in New York celebrating the upcoming 15-year anniversary with its fabric technology partner, Toray Industries.

“The Art and Science of LifeWear”, is a large-scale exposition that acknowledges the co-development of innovative clothing that aims to keep consumers cooler, warmer and more comfortable. It includes Heattech, which launched in 2003, as well as views on the science behind AIRism, Kando-pants and Dry-EX.

Tadashi Yanai, president and CEO of Uniqlo parent company, Fast Retailing, said: “Toray’s revolutionary technologies have been vital in Uniqlo’s quest to create LifeWear clothing, which makes everyday life better and more comfortable for people everywhere. I encourage people to attend this exhibition to see the innovations stemming from this partnership that have enabled us to deliver new value by combining unparalleled functionality and comfort with contemporary styling.”

The exhibition is fronted by a series of large-scale installations and experiential displays that enable visitors to understand the technologies and science behind them. They can see a deconstruction of Heattech on a molecular-level to demonstrate its heat-retention properties for instance, and an experiment that shows the absolute minimum volume to which Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down can be compressed.

The brand has reportedly sold over one billion items of Heattech clothing since launch. Uniqlo more broadly did $17 billion in sales last year.


Akihiro Nikkaku, president of Toray Industries, added: “Our corporate philosophy is about contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies, and products. As an integrated chemical company, we engage in research and development from long-term perspectives in the conviction that materials can change our lives. I hope the exhibition of Heattech and other technological fruits of joint development with Uniqlo will give attendees a solid understanding of why this partnership can keep delivering new value in the years ahead.”

Visitors to the Art and Science of LifeWear can also preview other advanced Toray technologies from fields including aircraft, racecars and rockets, and gain a sneak peak into the future of clothing accordingly, including items that change colour and that provide instant feedback to athletes. According to Nikkaku, the company looks 10-20 years out at innovation.