Uniqlo partners with Shanghai Museum for UT T-shirts

First teased at the end of May, the latest Uniqlo UT collaboration has finally unveiled itself in its entirety. The hotly anticipated team-up is between the Japanese fast fashion giant and the municipal Shanghai Museum. Titled “Museum for All: Wonders of Bronze”, the Uniqlo x Shanghai Museum collaboration is part of the brand’s 40th anniversary celebration.

For the project, the Shanghai Museum selected three of the most iconic displays from the museum’s bronzeware collection, the Da Ke ding (大克鼎) circular vessel from the Western Zhou dynasty (西周, 1046–771 BC), the Fu Yi guang (父乙觥, “觥” is pronounced “gong” in Mandarin, unrelated to the percussion instrument) bronze ritual ewer from the same period, and the Zi Zhong Jiang plate (子仲姜盘), a bronze plate from the ensuing Spring and Autumn period (春秋时代, 771–476 BC).

Uniqlo and the Shanghai Museum recruited 5 Chinese artists to design the graphics for the T-shirts based on the artefacts, with various illustration styles and inspirational punny words. Additionally, it is part of the UTme DIY collection, where store visitors can create their own graphics by selecting elements with digital DIY tools on their phones and printing in store. You can also add notes to online orders on platforms such as Tmall, requesting certain graphics.

Museums’ own merch and collaborations are some of the hottest items. A trend called the “day trip to a museum” effect is gradually taking over the “20 minutes in a park” effect. With the guochao 3.0 raging on, international brands such as McDonald’s went in with bronzeware while Tim Horton’s collaborated with the nearby Suzhou Museum. Uniqlo has also done hyper-localised zines in Shanghai and Wuhan. It seems paying tribute to Chinese art and culture, such as the Uniqlo x Shanghai Museum collab, is a quick way to gain resonance for international brands


Join our newsletter