More than 225 people gathered on Tuesday, December 12, at the UNIQLO Fifth Avenue Global Flagship Store to celebrate the launch of RE.LIVE, an exclusive upcycling collection developed by FIT students in partnership with UNIQLO to reimagine new, creative solutions for unsellable product. This marks UNIQLO’s first collaboration with a U.S.-based college, and it is the latest initiative from its RE.UNIQLO program, which is committed to extending the life of clothes through repairing, reusing, remaking, and recycling.
Under the guidance of FIT’s DTech Lab, three Fashion Design BFA students and two Advertising and Digital Design BFA students from the Class of 2024 collaborated on the RE.LIVE project, from inception through to the campaign rollout. The collection is now available at the RE.UNIQLO Studio inside its Fifth Avenue store.
The FIT student designers included Sam Cho of South Korea, Nuo Cheng of China, and Bridgette Schaeffer of Lumberton, NJ. Under the guidance of faculty advisor Juliana Cho, assistant professor of Fashion Design, students reimagined 11 LifeWear pieces, including the Covered Button Sweater, Slashed Woven Cargo Jacket, and Clashing Stripe Button Up. The design themes included Craftland (handcrafted stitch work and fabric manipulation), Re-Automation (gender neutrality and utility), and Modern Anatomy (timelessness and sophisticated details).
RE.LIVE spans knits, outerwear, shirts, jumpsuits, and accessories, all inspired by the concept of a second life. The designs were developed using non-sellable and non-wearable UNIQLO products previously donated or returned by customers, giving them new meaning with unique modifications, while remaining rooted in UNIQLO’s LifeWear philosophy of high-quality and functional pieces for everyday life.
Under the guidance of faculty advisor Joe Staluppi, associate professor and co-chair of Advertising and Digital Design, Andrew Grechko of Brooklyn and Minjeong (MJ) Park of South Korea—both Advertising and Digital Design majors—developed the digital marketing and advertising campaign for RE.LIVE that included in-store posters, social media, and the UX/UI digital design development of the RE.LIVE landing page on the UNIQLO website.
“Being part of this collaborative project with UNIQLO has been an amazing opportunity,” Schaeffer said. “I’m grateful for Professor Cho’s guidance and I’ve loved working with the UNIQLO team, the DTech team, and my classmates on a sustainability initiative. I’ve always worn UNIQLO—the brand is practical, comfortable, and high quality—so being able to put my own spin on their designs has been really cool. My generation of designers are more passionate about sustainability than ever before. We understand that it is not only important, but essential. I hope to continue working with companies like UNIQLO that value their global impact.”