Muji is sort of like The GAP before it became a brand, that is if The GAP sold stationary, furniture, kitchen appliances, bicycles and that sort of thing besides clothes. It is one of my favorite stores in Japan-I ususally buy stationary and home furnishings there. This article from Slate discusses the beauty that is Muji, which is on its way to New York and beyond:
The rabid excitement over Muji is very much deserved, but the most innovative aspect of the company's products isn't the quality of their design; it's how fundamentally they redefine the idea of the design object. While other companies apply design to a product to get it noticed, Muji designs a product to be, essentially, invisible—so useful and so natural that you don't realize that it's there. More than 2,000 of the company's impeccably designed objects will arrive stateside in the next few months, and they are our best shot at being set free from design rather than tyrannized by it.