At 9:30am, Mayor Ed Lee, global Japanese retailer UNIQLO and the America Red Cross will be holding a press conference at City Hall to discuss UNIQLO opening its first store on the West Coast in Union Square. We're on the scene, and yes, a rendering of the new store will be revealed. Our live report below.
[Look! It's what a portion of the inside of the West Coast's first UNIQLO store will look like]
9:27am: What we already know: UNIQLO will be hiring 500 (that's right, 500) employees in the Bay Area for its first West Coast store at 111 Powell Street in Union Square, slated to open in the fall of 2012. The building's around 29,000 square feet and will be designed by Japanese superstar Wonderwall (beware: insanely awesome website) and architectural partner Gensler. The company will also present a $25,000 check to the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, as a sign of the company's commitment to the Bay Area community.
9:29am: Japanese interior design firm Wonderwall has worked with UNIQLO before, and designed the company's Fifth Avenue store in NYC. The firm's also responsible for the designs of all the Bathing Ape brand stores. Gensler, as you may already know, is a San Francisco-based architecture firm that's one of the largest firms in the world. If you're a fashion fanatic you should know that Gensler designed Forever 21's 300,000-square-foot Union Square store.
9:32am: We've become aware that the odds of City Hall's WiFi (at least in the Mayor's press office) becoming available is very slim, so we'll publish this post as soon as we get a connection.
9:33am: Mayor Lee takes the podium and starts with saying the economy is still on the recovery, and he's thrilled that UNIQLO will open a flagship store here in SF. "They're making an investment in our people."
9:35am: We should point out that Mayor Lee is NOT wearing a slim fit UNIQL suit. He's wearing a dark grey suit with a green and white striped tie. BOOOORING. We were anticipating skinny jeans and pastel linen button-up.
9:37am: "Don't forget, UNIQLO is an international corporation and we're an international city." - Mayor Ed Lee
9:37am: Mayor Lee hands the mic (er? podium) over to UNIQLO.
9:38am: UNIQLO is really exciting to be here because this is their "first foray into the West Coast."
9:40am: A $25,000 check has been given to Bay Area's America Red Cross from UNIQLO as a show of support for the Bay Area community. Mayor Lee's back!
9:42am: Mayor Lee doesn't seem to be too concerned about the construction and how it'll affect the already congested Union Square neighborhood because the building's already built.
9:43am: Supervisor Jane Kim takes the mic and informs everyone that she's actually wearing a UNIQLO sweater. Everyone laughs. Because she's not usually fashionable? We don't know. She's totally stoked about UNIQLO opening, duh.
9:46am: And it's over. We'll keep you posted on when more renderings become available.
10:03am: We leave you with this, a high res version of the only rendering released thus far of San Francisco's UNIQLO store: