Muji is a Japanese store that is, um, all the rage in NYC right now, apparently.
What do they sell? High-quality merchandise with no brand names. The international chain started in the 1980′s as Mujirushi Ryohin (“no label, quality goods”), a sort of “house brand” within the Seiyu supermarket chain. The store became an independent company in 1989 and just opened its first location in the United States.
We’d be tempted to call Muji’s popularity an ironic trend if it weren’t for the pure and simple fact that people actually do want high-quality, well designed products.
It is perhaps a sign on the times that the conspicuous absence of a brand name is more of an endorsement than the “luxury” labels that are so often affixed to the same crap you buy at Walmart.
Who needs a “brand,” anyway? If a store wants to build a reputation by offering quality products, we wish them the best of luck.