Kevin Kelly’s always-interesting Cool Tools has a blurb on Muji, the “no mark” shop. I fell in love with Muji’s Yokohama shop a decade ago, and was surprised to notice a large number of Muji bags being carried around central London a few months back.
I like Muji’s stuff for a couple reasons. I like the simplicity of using inexpensive materials (lots of cardboard and tin) to create attractive and useful products. I keep a seam-ripper on my desk to help with the process of “deboning” newly purchased clothing — freeing myself as much as possible from advertising, except when I decide I want it (e.g., for organizations with which I am affiliated). I don’t have an allergy to brand labels (cf. Pattern Recognition) but I have long had an aversion. I enjoy the generic nature of Muji’s stuff, and ended up with a lot of their desk products. (I hope they open up a US shop soon, since although I like their stuff, I don’t see spending 20 quid for shipping.)
In a world where college students choose to wear Abecrombie shirts made to look like college shirts (choosing the simulation over the representative branding — Baudrillard would be rolling in his grave, you know… if he were dead). Meanwhile, Britney Spears wears the real deal. Go figure.
(And while we’re at it, can we get a Capricciosa somewhere east of Honolulu, please?)