On a foggy and chilly December weekend, Japanese casual fast fashion retailer UNIQLO, challenged Vancouverites to put their HEATTECH line of heat-generating base layers to the test… by changing in fitting rooms made of 4 tonnes worth of ice in a “snowy” climate.
HEATTECH is different from base layers like compression gear (a la Under Armour) in that it’s not supposed to be tight around your muscles. Instead, its fabric is made of fibres that absorbs body heat and traps it in pockets of air.
Before the event started at 11am at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, a crowd of around 30 people were in line, excited to try HEATTECH in an icy change room. Even the Venue Manager of QE Plaza was in line, excited for the brand from her native homeland of Japan.
Vancouver-based creative agency Rethink, that produced UNIQLO’s well-received introduction campaign “Natural Union”, came up with the concept and was on hand to energize the crowd.
This is the first time UNIQLO’s put on such an event, and according to the research of UNIQLO’s Marketing & PR Manager, Han Hoang, it’s the first time any major brand has put on an ice fitting room event like this. UNIQLO Toronto events have included a Flannel Shirt event that benefitted new immigrants and pop-up shops featuring local businesses.
“Vancouver’s temperture shifted, and HEATTECH is something that can benefit Vancouverites. With the climate here, you don’t need bulky coats but just that inner layer that helps you keep warm in a damper condition. We wanted to spread the cheer and give some out to Vanouverites,” says Hoang.
Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of the brand, and I already owned a HEATTECH shirt and leggings so I wanted to see whether my existing pieces would hold up to the cold. The verdict? They worked just as well as the new ones.
PS. We’re also featured in Daily Hive‘s “Custom Content” article about this event.