If you’ve been to MoMA this summer, you may have noticed that our security team is sporting a stylish new look. As part of MoMA’s ongoing partnership with the Japanese retailer UNIQLO, designer Naoki Takizawa and his team created a security officer uniform that brought together MoMA’s focus on art and design and UNQLO’s commitment to comfort and innovation. The project took nearly a year from the early discussions and sketches to the uniform launch in July, but in a testament to the strength of their multiyear partnership, both MoMA and UNIQLO were dedicated to and enthusiastic about the process throughout. Naoki Tazikawa discusses his motivations:
“At my first meeting with [MoMA Director] Glenn Lowry, I mentioned that I always drop into MoMA when I visit New York, as it provides me with inspiration. MoMA powers the imaginations of people around the world through art, leading them to contribute to better living. UNIQLO has similarly created beautiful and functional daily clothing for all through its LifeWear line. Like MoMA, we look toward tomorrow, which is why my original proposal was to produce a unique and forward-looking uniform for MoMA’s security staff.”
MoMA’s security officers and management team are pleased with the look of their new uniforms and appreciate the strong attention to detail. MoMA red is incorporated in button holes and piping, and pockets were specifically designed to hold the various items the officers must carry with them while on posts. Additionally, the uniform’s accompanying shirt varies to indicate the three levels of staff: Officer, Assistant Supervisor, and Supervisor. Several security officers say that they’ve been stopped by MoMA visitors or administrative staff who have noticed their uniforms and complimented them on their new look.
They are also enjoying the feel of the uniforms, which were designed with their comfort in mind. Control Room Operator Samantha Arocho summed it up nicely: “It feels good to be in the uniform—the material is very nice and lightweight.” One of the security team’s main requests in considering a newly designed uniform was seasonal wear, since officers are required to work both inside and outside throughout the year. To address this concern, Tazikawa and his design team incorporated UNIQLO’s AIRism and HEATTECH innerwear to be worn under the uniforms in the warm and cold weather, respectively. From Tazikawa:
“One of my most important goals was to create a uniform that everybody would love to wear; that would make the staff feel comfortable and proud. To do this, I worked with the idea of re-creating the sense of comfort that comes from worn-out athletic wear. Given the varying physiques of personnel working within the security field, we conducted extensive fittings on people with key sizes to optimize the dimensions and reflect their feedback. This ensured the uniform properly fit each and every staff member.”
While the design and launch of the new MoMA security uniforms has been a huge undertaking for both MoMA and UNIQLO, this is only one of the many projects the two organizations are currently collaborating on within the framework of its current multiyear partnership. Other highlights include UNIQLO’s sponsorship of MoMA’s Friday-night free-admission program, now called “UNIQLO Free Friday Nights,” and UNIQLO’s SPRZ NY project, which features clothing and accessories—some designed in collaboration with MoMA—inspired by influential artists of our time.