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From Carine Roitfeld to Heat Tech: how Uniqlo became our favourite shop

The Japanese for cheap is yasui. Speaking to customers at the largest branch of Uniqlo in Japan, this word pops up a lot. “It’s cheap and the quality is good, but the style is so-so,” a fashionable young man in thick-rimmed glasses tells me. “I buy my underwear here, but Uniqlo’s main purpose is not fashion.”

I returned to Japan on a press trip in October 2015 to write a feature on Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo for the Observer magazine.

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