Uniqlo is a success story of Japan’s storied industrial manufacturing prowess. The label, launched in 1949, enjoys a reputation for simplicity. In just two years in the 1990s it created a new market in Japan by popularising fleeces that had been until then exorbitantly priced and unfashionable – bought mainly by mountain climbers and trekkers. Uniqlo launched a line in 50 colours at an affordable price of less than $20. In the next 12 months it sold more than two million fleeces – or one to every third person in Japan.