Toronto comic shop the Beguiling is one of four local retailers chosen to take part in a pop-up market located in Uniqlo’s new CF Eaton Centre store. The bookseller – along with record store Soundscapes, shoe and clothing retailer Gravity Pope, and mixology boutique Cocktail Emporium – will showcase some of their titles within the international clothing retailer until the end of May. This is the second instalment of Uniqlo’s #UniqloMeetsToronto project, which aims to recognize the city and its independent businesses.
Beguiling owner Peter Birkemoe says he expects the company approached him for the project due to the attention the store received when it moved from its long-time home in Mirvish Village earlier this year. Birkemoe points out that Uniqlo is no stranger to the graphica community, especially in its home country, Japan.
“There’s a pre-existing connection to the comic-art form within the culture of that company. I don’t know if that’s something they were looking for in this endeavour, but we were very aware of them as a brand beyond them being a big international clothing retailer,” Birkemoe says. “We always go to Uniqlo when we go to Tokyo to source product, specifically because they do a lot of t-shirt collaborations with Japanese comic artists.”
In honour of the market’s theme, the Beguiling has curated comics set in Toronto or created by local artists. Birkemoe hopes the collaboration will mean increased awareness of the bookseller’s new location and more projects in the future.