Uniqlo has ambitious plans to build its brand in North America, and it's tapping Todd Waterbury, former co-executive creative director of Wieden & Kennedy, New York, to do it.
Mr. Waterbury left Wieden a year ago to start a "creative consultancy" and has since picked up three clients, including Uniqlo. The as-yet-unnamed consultancy is serving the Japanese apparel brand in a broad capacity; Mr. Waterbury has taken on the title of creative director for North America.
"The idea of an agency to me is the idea of defining an outcome. Often when you define an outcome, you limit the potential of what you can do for your clients," Mr. Waterbury said. "The idea of it taking the form of a consultancy is to understand the needs of the brand or client and bring in or collaborate with the best people for the particular project or need."
In his role for Uniqlo, Mr. Waterbury is responsible for creative direction and production but also contributing strategic counsel in areas like media. His focus at the moment is the fall launch of Uniqlo's second and third stores in New York City: one on 34th Street, and another on Fifth Avenue, which will be the world's largest location and a global flagship. The retailer's SoHo location opened in 2006 with much fanfare and a dream team of creative talents, including Japanese designer Kashiwa Sato and founder of interior-designer firm Wonderwall, Masamichi Katayama. German designer Markus Kiersztan also worked on the project, as did designer and engineer Yugo Nakamura. Mr. Waterbury said that some of the same talent will be working on the two new stores, though he declined to offer specifics.