Chain reaction

As if Viktor & Rolf madness at H&M wasn't enough (the bespectacled duo's high-low line hit the racks yesterday, selling out in Manhattan stores), Japanese megachain Uniqlo launched its first NYC flagship (546 Broadway between Prince and Spring Sts) last night. If you haven't seen the Tokyo-based fast-fashion retailer's ubiquitous ads touting its supercheap wares, its behemoth of a shop in Soho should cause you to take notice. We definitely felt that we weren't in Manhattan anymore walking around the 36,000-square-foot pristinely white space: Its three levels—meticulously stocked with hundreds of basics and more fashion-forward designs—reminded us of a Gap on steroids. Need a blue T-shirt? There are dozens to choose from. And then its glitzy invite-only blowout walloped us as well: The Misshapes crew spun tunes on the main floor, sushi guru Masaharu Morimoto went into Iron Chef mode slicing toro upstairs and the crowd—a mix of fashion insiders, the press and Japanese businessmen—were doing something we've never seen at a launch party: buying clothes. Want to judge for yourself? The Uniqlo store opens to the public today.