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Member Introduction UNIQLO: Creating Champions Through Collegial Collaborations
NEWS | Features

Member Introduction UNIQLO: Creating Champions Through Collegial Collaborations

19 November 2019 | Written by administrator



Despite the word “uni” in its name, UNIQLO’s business strategy is anything but “unilateral”. In recent years this iconic Japanese clothing brand has continued to climb up the competitive curve by outfitting themselves with a multicolored, multilateral, and multilayered approach to apparel. Indeed, one could even argue that this approach of theirs has “united” a whole shelfful of different people, ideas, and values from all four corners of the world. SCCJ visited Mr. Masahiro Endo at UNIQLO’s global headquarters in Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo to learn more about their basic principles and especially about their new project with the Swedish national team in the 2020 Tokyo and 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games.


Mr. Endo is the Director of the 2020/2022 Olympic and Paralympic Project. With a team of colleagues based in Tokyo, Paris, New York, Shanghai,  London and Stockholm, he is the man captained to lead this unique collaboration between UNIQLO and Team Sweden until the Olympic cauldron’s flame disappears in Beijing in 2022. According to Mr. Endo, it was Swedish Olympic Committee CEO Peter Reinebo who initially relayed Team Sweden’s intent to them: “UNIQLO opened its first store in Stockholm in August 2018. It was after the store’s opening ceremony that Mr. Reinebo contacted us, saying, ‘We are looking for an Olympic partner. Would UNIQLO be interested?’. That was the beginning of our collaboration. Everything moved forward very smoothly from there and on January 24, 2019 we hosted a joint press conference here in Tokyo”.


As UNIQLO began passing the ball backwards and forwards with Mr. Reinebo and his team since 2018, Mr. Endo quickly realized that what Swedish people value was very much in line with that of UNIQLO’s:


“The three key elements quality, innovation, and sustainability were well synchronized. We believed in and upheld very similar values”.

Hence, it is no surprise that both sides saw eye-to-eye in creating apparel that would support the athletes both on-and-off the pitch; Messrs Reinebo and Endo also agreed to make high quality and eco-friendly clothes through innovation.


“Because Japan is a hot and humid country, we needed to provide products that could keep the athletes feeling comfortable even when they aren’t competing. A lot of these products use the same fabrics already used in our DRY-EX and AIRism. We have also used other innovative fabrics that aren’t available at our stores right now. I’d also like to amplify that we didn’t hesitate to use sustainable fabrics such as recycled materials even for these Olympic and Paralympic outfits” commented Mr. Endo.


Although this is the first time UNIQLO is providing sportswear to an entire team, the company already has a solid track record in partnering with professional athletes through their Global Brand Ambassadors program. “We first provided our clothing to Shingo Kunieda— a top ranked Japanese wheelchair tennis player. We have been collaborating with Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori (ranked world number eight as of October 21, 2019) for the past several years; recently we started working with top world player Roger Federer, too. Other than tennis, for example, we also have Australian golfer Adam Scott, British wheelchair tennis player Gordon Reid MBE and Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano as our Global Brand Ambassadors” explained Mr. Endo.


Over the years, the company has scooped up and reflected the valuable insights provided by these ambassadors in their product line up. “The feedback we received from Kei Nishikori and Roger Federer has been used to improve our product line up. With the help of Adam Scott, we even created a new men’s product called ‘Kando Pants’. These have been available for purchase at our stores globally for a number of years,” commented Mr. Endo.


One of the biggest responsibilities Mr. Endo is tasked with in this project is to ensure that the feedback and know-how obtained from Team Sweden trickles down and crystalizes at a product level. “This is paramount for us to continue innovating our product line up going forward” explained Mr. Endo.


Mr. Endo and his team consider this collaboration a prime opportunity for UNIQLO to further solidify their business footing, increase their brand recognition, and set new world records in the coming decade and beyond:


“We are very honored that the Swedish people—whom I believe live one of the most sophisticated lifestyles in the world—chose UNIQLO as their partner brand. We would very much like our customers to associate our brand with the lifestyles upheld by Swedes […] At the same time, we would like to strengthen UNIQLO’s brand positioning as a ‘LifeWear’ brand. This might sound counter-intuitive, but we don’t see ourselves as a ‘fast-fashion’ brand. Our mission is to provide simply designed innovative apparel that can be worn not just for one season but over the long run. We place a great deal of emphasis on “sustainability”. This is why ‘LifeWear’ is our brand identity”

emphasized Mr. Endo.


By fostering a collegial atmosphere with a like-minded organization such as the Swedish Olympic and Paralympic team, the world can no doubt witness UNIQLO reach new heights.


We would like to extend a warm welcome to UNIQLO Co., Ltd as a new member of SCCJ. You can find out more about them at:



遠藤氏は2020/2022オリンピック・パラリンピックプロジェクトで部長を務めている。チームは東京、パリ、ニューヨーク、上海、ロンドン、ストックホルムに拠点を構え、彼は2022年に北京で聖火の火が消えるまでユニクロとチームスウェーデンのコラボレーションプロジェクトを率いることになっている。遠藤氏によるとチームスウェーデンの考えを最初に伝えてきたのはスウェーデンのオリンピック委員会で会長を務めるPeter Reinebo氏からだったという。「ユニクロは2018年の8月にストックホルムでスウェーデンの第一号店をオープンしました。Reinebo氏が“オリンピックのパートナーを探している。ユニクロは興味があるか”と連絡を取ってきたのは店のオープンセレモニーの後でした。それが我々のコラボレーションの始まりでした。そこからあらゆることが順調に進み、2019年の1月24日にここ東京で、スウェーデン・オリンピック委員会と共に合同記者会見を開いたのです。」















「我々は、世界で最も洗練されたライフスタイルを持つスウェーデン人がユニクロをオリンピックのパートナーブランドとして選んでくれたことをとても誇りに思います。(中略) 同時に、ユニクロのブランドを“ライフウエアブランド”として強化していきたいと考えています。これについてはあまりピンと来ないかもしれませんが、我々はユニクロが“ファストファッションブランド”であるとは思っていません。我々のミッションは、ワンシーズンではなく長期にわたって着られる、シンプルにデザインされた革新的な衣服を提供することです。私たちは“サステイナビリティ―”を特に重要視しています。“ライフウエア”とは我々のブランドアイデンティティなのです。」