Is it hot in here, or is that just Maru? Uniqlo brings techy wonderclothes, cult cat to SF

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The future of pants + Maru = Japanese brand Uniqlo does SF
ORIGINAL GUARDIAN ARTWORK BY CAITLIN DONOHUE

It was a foggy, sloppy evening in Golden Gate Park, and I was activating my gloom-whine during our walk to Pasquale's but then: HEATTECH. Thanks Uniqlo! Your Union Square pop-up, and impending West Coast flagship store opening, half-translated catch phrases, mega-cheap Hiroshima-born line of basic clothing, and all, saved my dinner date.

Though, the pop-up shop that is now open isn't the dreamland of cheap basics and jewel tones I'd been promised -- stock is mainly limited to HEATTECH, cashmere sweaters, puffy jackets and the zipper-free "easy legging pants" I am now living in. (I prefer to refer to them as "future pants," but believe the layperson terminology would be "jeggings.") The day we visited, it was staffed about three times as heavily as it needed to be -- hyper-training sessions for the future staff of its store at 111 Powell set to open on October 5.

Clothes that make you warmer

Why should you care about another affordable shop for solid t-shirts when that neighborhood already hosts a passel of H&Ms, Forever 21s, and other number-initial combos? I don't see those chains featuring Maru in any of their opening-day promos, firstly.

Secondly, the fog monster. I was a little skeptical of some of Uniqlo's HEATTECH line of clothing claims (the unnamed anti-perspiration chemicals in its men's clothes gave me pause, and the fact that the women's line eschews these for an "extra-soft" fabric feel is not that cute.) But gender-neutrality aside, those "hollow fiber threads" that Uniqlo uses to make its patterned and plain-colored line of turtlenecks, tank tops, and long-and-short-sleeved HEATTECH shirts are on the money, when it comes to depression-producing SF freeze. Time will tell how many washes the effect will withstand, but my boatneck long-sleeve was magic on aforementioned Golden Gate hike. 

I'm hoping to learn more about this miracle of wardrobe at the brand's upcoming fashion-tech panel discussion, where Yasunobu Kyogoku, Uniqlo's chief operating officer will chat with Refinery29 editor Katie Hintz-Zambrano, director of merchandising for the Academy of Art's fashion school Keanan Duffty, and Brit + Co.'s Brit Moran. They're covering clothing technology, which includes how its marketed on ye olde social networks. 

"Making Life a Little Better" Uniqlo fashion-tech panel discussion

Thu/6 6-9pm (panel at 7pm), free with RSVP

Uniqlo pop-up

117 Post, SF

www.uniqlo.com/us