i'm not much of a shopper. but you already know that. i just can't bear to pay retail having worked that industry at one time or another. and besides, free anything spoils you until the end of your days. you know how happy you are when someone picks up the dinner check? multiply that feeling by 100 when a package of comped clothes are sent your way.
i left new york city six weeks ago. since then, two japanese shops have made their north american debut. both in manhattan. i was curious to scope them out.
after much hooloomooloo, a bathing ape has finally opened stateside. a what? nevermind. i dropped in on the bape boutique on a cold winter's day. several feet of snow kept locals inside and tourists away. whatever happened to their infamous queues? the shop clerks easily outnumbered consumers. for a select shop, the staff is pretty friendly. the space itself is sweet -- stark and simple. i love the conveyer belt shoecase display. clever. however the store feels a little sterile with very few items showcased for sale. nobody bought anything. but that doesn't matter to nigo. when was the last time you paid $300 for a sweatshirt? yeah, me too.
a bathing ape
91 greene street
new york ny 10013
212 925 0222
ironically the second shop of interest is the very antithesis of a bathing ape. muji (short for mujirushi ryohin or "no-brand goods") -- the ikea slash gap of japan is now a shop within a store. debuting inside the moma design store, muji stationery, knick knacks and housewares are now available for consumption. however, buying muji products inside a museum shop defeats it's very purpose of exisiting. generic and affordable objects for living is now a fuss! the dollar conversion makes purchasing a bit pricey and i miss, what to me, makes muji fantastic (soaps and clothing). still, there's lots to pick through. for the full experience, visit muji abroad.
moma design store (soho)
81 spring street
new york, ny 10012
646 613 1367
Monday through Saturday, 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday, 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
for a taste of japanese wares and digs, drop in the next time you're rocking the big A. bring money. you'll need it.