The United Arrows Group, an esteemed name embedded in the collective lexicon of every menswear nerd, has broken new ground this month with the official opening of their newest store. Located in Taipei’s prestigious Da’An district, the new UA store (the first of its kind outside Japan) represents a revolutionary turning point in the fight to give ordinary guys well-priced, well-made, classic clothing. Revolutionary turning point you say? Surely this is some buzzword heavy lie you’ve concocted in an effort to sell us more import-taxed Birkenstocks, right? Wrong.
The opening of Taipei’s UA branch signals the beginning of what the group’s corporate policy simply, and mysteriously, dubs "UA Vision 2022". Without resorting to poor jokes about Eurovision or world domination involving Mecha, UA Vision 2022 is essentially the umbrella term given to the brand’s expanding future business model. While information on UA’s official homepage is vague to say the least, the company is emphasizing now more than ever that they wish to establish themselves as a brand worthy of recognition on the world stage. Working towards this goal they hope to make annual revenues upward of $2.2 billion US by 2022, leading to the inevitable question: What exactly they’re going to do with all that money?
Sure, it could go toward the archetypical Japanese pursuits of developing newer and more innovative fabrics or creating even more innovative ad campaigns, but, truth be told, it appears UA have their eyes on the grander prize that is international fucking distribution. With 10 stores planned for Taiwan alone by 2022, a natural—if unconfirmed—progression would involve setting up shop in greater Asia (think China and Korea) and, wait for it, North America. With all of UA’s talk of late involving aspirations to take things overseas, the grand opening in Taipei perhaps heralds the beginning of an era in which we won't have to fly to UA, but, rather, UA will fly to us. The brand’s desire to expand more permanently into international markets also has huge implications for e-commerce, so no matter how things shape up going forward we can expect to see more of everyone’s favorite Japanese retail behemoth in the near future.
Alternatively, if you’re super impatient, catching a flight to Taiwan is slightly cheaper than one to Japan, so there's that. Think positive guys.