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Uniqlo’s Kampung spirit shirts draw flak from Singaporeans who feel left out

One netizen pointed out that even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s own neighbourhood, Ang Mo Kio, was absent from the line-up.

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Singapore—Everyone loves a celebration, right? Everyone wants to join in, which is something Japanese clothing brand may need to learn a little more about.

To celebrate its 10 year anniversary in the countty, and right in time for Singapore’s own 54th birthday in this special bicentennial year, Uniqlo launched a T-shirt series, #UTWearYourHood, designed by noted art director and graphic artist Ewe Jin Tee, who clearly put thought into the T-shirts for ten Singaporean neighborhoods: Tiong Bahru, Bedok, Tampines, Serangoon, Bukit Timah, Punggol, Katong, Toa Payoh, Telok Blangah and Yishun.

Which gives everyone from these neighborhoods something to wear this weekend, especially if they’re feeling more patriotic than usual.

While the T-shirts really are very nice, some Singaporeans from the neighborhoods not represented by the shirts may have felt a little left out by the omission of their own neighborhoods and did not hesitate to tell the company about it on their Facebook page.

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Commenters started looking for shirts from Jurong, Yew Tee, Choa Ku Kang, Sengkang, Bishan, Sembawang, Woodlands, and others.

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One commenter asked why Bedok, “the most Malay town in Singapore” was represented by chopsticks and noodles?

On another note, some people did not seem too happy about the design for the shirt from Yishun.

One netizen pointed out that even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s own neighbourhood, Ang Mo Kio, was absent from the line-up.

A commenter joked that the campaign was “causing a national divide.”

But the commenters seemed to have missed one important point in Uniqlo’s post, which is that people can design their own shirts based on where they are from. If their neighbourhood was not featured in the series, they can customise their own at the UTMe! Booth on the third floor of Uniqlo’s Orchard Central Global Flagship store. According to Uniqlo, the shirt would be done in 15 minutes. The post said, “Fret not if your neighbourhood isn’t featured – you can always create your own version with #UTme!”

On Uniqlo’s Facebook post announcing the Kampung Spirit T-shirts, one netizen kept helpfully pointing this fact out to those who were asking why their neighbourhoods had been omitted, telling them that they can design their own.

To which one netizen replied, “If I have the design chops…Sure”

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