New York Public Library’s landmark Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue now has a new international neighbor across the street: Japanese brand MUJI is opening its largest North American store yet. Though this marks MUJI’s fifth location in NYC, the 475 Fifth Avenue address will serve as the US flagship—and offers some extra special experiences beyond its massive selection of simple, well-designed and affordable homeware.
From luggage to chairs and picture frames, underwear to outerwear, stationery, skincare, ceramic dishes and even Japanese snacks and teas—every section of the home is covered here, letting you put off that dreaded expedition to that one giant home store a little longer. The minimalist yet efficient designs (their new-ish kitchen appliances, like the electric kettle and rice-cooker, make great examples) encompass the company’s mission to offer “no-brand, quality goods.” In the MUJI Fifth Avenue store, you’ll notice installations that explain the materials used, whether it’s non-itchy New Zealand wool, un-dyed Peruvian Andes wool, raw alpaca wool and more.
One of the highlights at this new store is the embroidery service to add a personal touch to any MUJI textile or clothing. Flip through a book that has over 100 designs to choose from: animals, letters, hamburgers, planets and so much more. The best part? Each design only costs $3, though it will take a few days to process.
There’s also the Aroma Labo, a station where you can sniff through 48 different blends of essential oil blends, organized by floral, citrus, herbal, mint and clear. After choosing your favorite, a staff member will blend it while you wait as the aroma diffusers surround you in fragrant, cloudy mists. A 10ml bottle costs $18.
Find a lovely installation of purchasable potted succulents and house plants, styled by Satoshi Kawamoto of Tokyo-and-NYC boutique Green Fingers—adding a lush vibrancy inside the store. Plants are also scattered throughout the space.
A section of Japanese and English books focus on topics like Japanese design and culture and even a few on New York City (like Jason Polan’s illustrated tome “Every Person In New York”). In another corner, shop-within-shop Found Muji offers non-MUJI items from around the world that inspired the design team during their research (we even spotted some Café Grumpy coffee beans).
MUJI Fifth Avenue has its grand opening tomorrow, 20 November 2015. It’s located at 475 Fifth Avenue.
Images by Cool Hunting