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Art critic speaks out against Uniqlo, MoMA tie-up

A shopper walks over some floor branding at the Uniqlo fashion boutique in Melbourne, Australia.
Getty Images
A shopper walks over some floor branding at the Uniqlo fashion boutique in Melbourne, Australia.

Expanding apparel store Uniqlo stirred up some controversy with art critic Deborah Solomon on Friday, in relation to its recent tie-up with the Museum of Modern Art.

In an interview with WNYC, Solomon said a deal between the two organizations, in which Uniqlo has created about 200 products inspired by the artwork of eight renowned artists, is "problematic."

Among the critic's main arguments were that the retailer is cropping a lot of the images to cater to its merchandise.

"There's too much merchandise in the world already and I don't want the masterpeices at the Musem of Modern Art to be seen as just more merchandise," Solomon told WNYC.

Fast Retailing-owned Uniqlo launched the SPRZ NY ("Surprise New York") project at the end of March, saying it was "intended to inspire and surprise New York, and the world."

The Museum of Modern Art said the collaboration is part of its "mission is to help people understand and enjoy modern art."

"Although fine art has traditionally been seen as highbrow, when expressed through Uniqlo clothing, it becomes accessible and enjoyable for everyone," it said in a press release.

Uniqlo competitor Gap is also using the influence of art on its merchandise, in a tie-up with Frieze Art Fair.

To read the article and listen to the full interview from WNYC, click here.

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