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UNIQLO's name was actually a typo, but it stuck and the brand just decided to embrace it

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The global fashion retailer Uniqlo is known for its minimalist basics and innovative LifeWear concept. But have you ever stopped to wonder about the slightly unorthodox spelling of its name? Unlike most brands built on combining words, Uniqlo features a prominent “Q” instead of the expected “C.” As it turns out, this seemingly deliberate choice has a surprisingly unassuming origin story.


Uniqlo’s history stretches back to 1984, when it began as a clothing store called Unique Clothing Warehouse in Hiroshima, Japan. Looking to create a catchier brand name, the company aimed to condense “Unique Clothing” into “Uni-Clo.” However, during the trademark registration process in 1988, a clerical error occurred. According to the brand's official social media channels, a staff member misread the “C” as a “Q,” leading to the now-iconic “Uniqlo.”


This twist of fate could have easily been corrected. However, Uniqlo founder Tadashi Yanai saw an unexpected opportunity. Intrigued by the unique aesthetic of the “Q,” he decided to embrace the error and officially adopt the misspelling across all Uniqlo stores in Japan. This choice proved fortuitous. The seemingly trivial “Q” added a touch of distinctiveness, setting the brand name apart from its competitors.


You can almost hear the company cry out “thank Q!” for the gaffe.




Image: Tobias Arhelger | Dreamstime.com

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