Founded in Japan in 1980 as an antithesis to the habits of consumer society at the time, MUJI epitomises simple, no-brand design with a range of practical, quality items.
Taking advantage of natural materials, using a minimum of resources and achieving simplicity through a thoughtful and considered design approach, MUJI’s concept is closely connected to the traditional Japanese aesthetic of “su”, meaning plain or unadorned. The idea is that simplicity is not merely modest or frugal but could possibly be more appealing than decorated luxury.
“MUJI is simple in design aesthetic; that is our product point,” says Takuo Nagahara, managing director of MUJI Australia.
“Our items are not only simple, but also sophisticated. Our purpose in selling our products is to introduce the concept of ‘su-no-bi’, or ‘simple is beautiful’.”
By carefully selecting materials, scrutinising manufacturing processes and reducing packaging, MUJI differentiates itself on a global scale.
“We have to take care of both the customer and the producer. We must be a matchmaker between the two. This is a part of our quest to ultimately live better,” Nagahara says.
MUJI sells customisable furniture and storage solutions, stationery, organic cotton apparel and nifty travel accessories. Its modest use of colour and plain, uniform packaging means the fuss-free products fit into the lifestyles of as wide a group of people as possible.
The new store will be MUJI’s third in Australia (following Chadstone and Emporium in Melbourne). Once established in Sydney, MUJI will branch into food offerings.