Photography by David Papazian
IF YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU NEEDED A PORCELAIN TOOTHBRUSH STAND OR CAT-SHAPED STICKY NOTES, YOU WOULD BE WRONG. The purveyor of such necessities—plus countless other lifestyle goods with an emphasis on minimalist design—is none other than Japanese retailer Muji, which just opened a pop-up shop last week in downtown Portland.
The pop-up serves as a preview in anticipation of its 11,000-square-foot permanent store slated to open sometime in November along the first floor of downtown’s historic Meier & Frank building, which was left vacant after Macy’s closed in 2017. The Portland Muji location will be the brand’s second largest in the US and its first in the Pacific Northwest. Japanese firm Super Potato is handling the design.
While a curated selection of Muji products are currently on hand at the pop-up shop, including its colorful gel-ink pens, body cushions, and natural skincare line, the permanent store will house its full assortment of apparel, kitchenware, tableware, furniture, storage accessories, skincare, suitcases, and stationery. It will also feature specific services such as $5 alterations on Muji clothing, embroidery options for clothing or textiles, a coffee stand, and an in-store initiative dubbed Re-Muji wherein archived pieces are re-dyed in one of three shades of Japanese indigo. In collaboration with a local art school (at press time, the brand was unable to disclose which school), the store is also debuting an Art Wall that will highlight found objects collected around the city.
“The Portland location represents a particularly exciting milestone for the brand,” Taku Hareyama, general manager of Muji Portland, said in a press release. “Not only is Muji expanding into a new region of the US, but the interior of the store and unique services offered, are designed as a special homage to the local Portland community, reflecting the vivacity and creativity of the surrounding community, and the universality and usability of Muji products.”
Visit the pop-up shop at 625 SW 10th Avenue now through October 28. muji.us