UCLA’s international clothing line, which is sold as a fashion brand overseas, is being offered on campus for the first time.
The UCLA Store began selling a part of UCLA Clothing International’s Autumn/Winter 2013 collection on Tuesday, marking the first time the items are available in the United States, said Cynthia Holmes, director of UCLA Trademarks and Licensing. The clothing will be offered until Nov. 22 in the UCLA Store in a “pop-up shop,” which is a walled-off display section.
UCLA Clothing International is its own brand of clothing, meaning that the cloth’s tags say “UCLA” instead of Adidas or another clothing company name, said Holmes.
Previously the brand was only available in UCLA apparel stores, boutique stores or department stores in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Holmes said. Unlike domestic buyers, international buyers are interested in UCLA clothing because it is fashionable and indicative of Southern California college lifestyle, not because they have a personal connection to the school, she added.
The selection in Ackerman includes polos, coats, flight bags, flannels and denim shirts printed with the letters “UCLA” and the University of California seal.
More clothes from the collection are for sale online, Holmes said, but they must be purchased from the UCLA Clothing International website and paid for in English pounds.
UCLA Trademarks and Licensing and the UCLA Store made a collaborative decision to open the pop-up shop, said Holmes. The hope was to get some feedback on what actual UCLA students thought of the brand, she said, as well as to give students access to the brand and inform them of UCLA’s international brand presence.
“I never understood why (UCLA’s international clothes) weren’t here before,” said Kevin Fouillet a UCLA Extension student originally from France.
Although he knew of the UCLA apparel store in London, Fouillet said he had never purchased any of the clothing because he expected to see the brand for sale on campus.
Fouillet said he hopes the UCLA brand clothing will become a permanent part of the student store because he prefers the UCLA brand clothes to the other clothes offered by the student store.
Some American students had not heard of the brand before.
“I like that they’re more traditional collegiate-looking,” said Isabel Navarro, a third-year linguistics and psychology student, as she inspected the UCLA brand clothes displayed in the walled-off section of the store.
Navarro said she was interested in buying one of the hoodies available, but that the clothes were more expensive than the other clothes in the store. A polo shirt costs about $45 and sweaters are about $65.
She said she wasn’t aware of the UCLA brand’s presence around the world. Recently while traveling in Europe, she said she saw someone wearing a UCLA shirt and assumed that he was somehow connected to the university.
“I said, ‘Go Bruins!’ to him and he looked at me like, “What?’” Navarro said, “So that makes sense now.”
Suchawut Thamvorapon, a third-year economics student, said the clothes were a little expensive and that he would not consider buying any UCLA brand clothes until there was a sale at the student store.
Also, Navarro said she found the clothes that did not have large UCLA logos on them less appealing.
“I don’t know if I need a UCLA flannel,” she said, referring to a shirt that said UCLA only on its tag and on a small metal emblem on its pocket.
If the clothing at the pop-up shop is popular, the brand could become a permanent fixture in the student store, Holmes said.