Uniqlo taps Rebekka Bay as head of NY innovation centre
Uniqlo is more than ever showing signs of international acceleration, most notably in the US. The Japanese fast fashion and apparel retail group, Fast Retailing, has appealed to the likes of Rebekka Bay, who is also a major specialist in fast fashion.
Uniqlo has named the 48-year-old Danish designer its "creative director of the new research and development centre in New York, from May 1," according to a brand spokesperson. She will report to Yuki Katsuta, Uniqlo's global head of research and development and senior vice-president of Fast Retailing.
Having started out as a fashion and trends forecaster, Rebekka Bay has spent her career working for major fast fashion chains, commencing with COS, under the H&M group banner, where she was the creative director from 2006 to 2011. After a brief stint with Danish label Bruuns Bazaar, Bay served as Gap's fashion director from 2012 to 2015.
She then transferred to American e-tailer Everland, taking up the role of head of product and design, which she left at the end of February.
Uniqlo boasts four other research centres, in Tokyo, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Paris, which analyse trends and product development. With the arrival of Rebekka Bay, the Japanese brand wants to push further into North America, while staying positioned in a more casual fashion to better meet the demand of the market.
To meet the needs of a more sophisticated European clientele, the retailer last year named French designer Christophe Lemaire as artistic director of its centre for research and development in Paris, as well as overseeing the brand's new line, Uniqlo U Line.
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