MFA Boston and UNIQLO Collaborate on T-Shirt Collection Inspired by Katagami Stencils from the Museum's Renowned Holdings of Japanese Art

Collaboration Builds upon 10-Year Partnership between the MFA and UNIQLO

BOSTON (August 20, 2018) —The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and global apparel retailer UNIQLO announced today the launch of the Katagami UT collection, a line of T-shirts inspired by katagami stencils from the Museum’s renowned holdings of Japanese art. The specially developed items—offered in seven designs for men and eight for women—are part of UNIQLO’s UT (UNIQLO T-Shirt) line, which transforms T-shirts into canvases of art and self-expression through an array of authentic cultural content from around the world. The Katagami UT collection will be sold at UNIQLO stores worldwide and online at starting August 20, 2018. The T-shirts will also be available at the MFA Signature Shop, where Museum members will be able to purchase them using their regular 10 percent discount. This collaboration builds upon a 10-year partnership between the Museum and UNIQLO—a longtime supporter of arts and culture—that was established in 2017.

“We are incredibly pleased about extending our partnership with UNIQLO into worldwide retail channels. Our collaboration allows us to share the MFA’s collection with a broader audience, and makes art more accessible through UNIQLO’s innovative UT collection,” said Katie Getchell, Chief Brand Officer and Deputy Director.

Hand-carved from paper with intricate designs, katagami stencils are traditionally used to dye cotton, silk or other textiles for Japanese garments. The MFA’s curators worked closely with UNIQLO to select patterns from the Museum’s collection of 4,200 katagami stencils, largely brought to Boston by William Sturgis Bigelow (1850–1926). One of the first Americans to live in Japan, Bigelow played an integral role in establishing the Japanese collection at the MFA, which today encompasses nearly 100,000 objects in all genres. In 1910, the Museum organized the first special exhibition devoted to katagami stencils, highlighting them not only as tools, but also as works of art in their own right.

“UNIQLO has a longstanding interest in the arts, and we are proud to continue our partnership with the MFA and deepen our commitment to bringing joy to everyday life—in this instance through some of the world’s most revered art,” said Nick Grover, UNIQLO Director of Brand Partnerships. “The Katagami UT collaboration celebrates the finest of Japanese craftsmanship and we are excited to share these specially designed items with both customers and museum-goers alike for the first time.”

In celebration of the Katagami UT line, the MFA and UNIQLO will offer special giveaways for the public during the launch week. From August 20 to August 26, scratch cards will be distributed at UNIQLO’s Faneuil Hall and Newbury Street stores, offering shoppers a chance to win the following prizes:

  • 10 free one-year MFA memberships (redeemable at any MFA ticket desk, valid through December 31, 2018)
  • $30 off a one-year MFA membership (redeemable at any MFA ticket desk, valid through December 31, 2018)
  • Free T-shirt from the Katagami UT collection (redeemable at UNIQLO’s Newbury Street store)
  • $10 off a $60 purchase (redeemable at UNIQLO’s Newbury Street and Faneuil Hall stores)

Additionally, a launch party will take place on August 24, from 5 to 7 pm, at UNIQLO’s Newbury Street store. Guests can enjoy light bites by Santouka Ramen and enjoy a display of katagami artwork and stencil tools from 19th-century Japan, courtesy of the MFA’s archives. Museum educators will also lead a katagami art-making activity, inviting guests to use stencils inspired by Japanese textile dyeing to print on postcards that can be taken home.

UNIQLO and the MFA

UNIQLO became part of the Boston community in fall 2015 at historic Faneuil Hall, with five additional store openings that followed, including a location on Newbury Street. Since the launch of the MFA’s partnership with UNIQLO in the fall of 2017, educators from the Museum have hosted a range of art-making activities that are free and open to the public at the company’s stores throughout Massachusetts. Two sessions held this month were inspired by katagami stencils—the first took place on August 4 at UNIQLO’s Faneuil Hall store, and the second on August 18 at the Newbury Street store.

UNIQLO additionally supports a variety of new programs celebrating Japanese art and culture at the MFA, including Junior Artists, a weekly drop-in art-making session for families; an MFA Family Guide in Japanese; and the Boston Festival of Films from Japan (BFFJ). Following a successful inaugural edition in 2018, the festival, which highlights the best recent films produced in Japan, will return to the MFA in February 2019.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of the Ancient World; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25), while five Open Houses offer the opportunity to visit the Museum for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of approximately 1.8619 trillion yen for the 2017 fiscal year ending August 31, 2017 (US $16.87 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2017 rate of $1 = 110.4 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.

UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. Today the company has more than 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide including Japan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and the U.S. In addition, Grameen UNIQLO, a social business established in Bangladesh in September 2010, currently operates several Grameen UNIQLO stores in Dhaka. UNIQLO manages an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel. The company believes that truly great clothes should be supremely comfortable, feature universal designs, are of high quality and offer a superb fit to everyone who wears them.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit and