Konnichiwa (the Japanese word for Hello)! Douitashimashite (You’re welcome) to the Muji however this time not in Japan but in our very own U.S. The Japanese design powerhouse is opening Muji’s SoHo store in New York by mid-November. Another flagship store will open in Midtown Manhattan sometime next year. And if you are unaware of the Muji brand then let me tell you that Muji is to Japan what Target or IKEA is to us. However, Muji takes a decidedly different tack from its much larger American and Swedish counterparts. Target insists on “surprising and delighting” its guests; IKEA implores customers to “be brave, not beige.” Muji, in contrast, revels in neutrality. Muji, in contrast, revels in neutrality. Almost all of its products are devoid of color, and the most surprising and delightful aspect of their design is how nondescript they are.
In the 27 years since Muji’s offerings have ballooned to more than 7,000 items and have included everything from cockroach traps and prunes to compact cars (manufactured in limited quantity by Nissan) and prefab houses. Once again ‘Douitashimashite’! Till then, Sayounara. BTW, Muji in literal translation means ‘plain’.