Muji – the regeneration

Muji New York Flagship on 5th Avenue

Before Uniqlo there was Muji, an emporium of well-made Japanese utilitarian basics where I religiously stocked up on winter camisoles (until they tweaked the ones I loves and I defected to HeatTech). Over the years Muji’s clothing offer has been sidelined by the might of Uniqlo, but it’s fighting back with its New York super store.

In another life I think I’d love to have a store specialising in Japanese brands – fashion, homes, stationery – interspersed with books on Japanese lifestyle. Let’s just say we really do rate the Japanese aesthetic in London. New York has tapped into it too with its 12,000-odd square foot Muji flagship, just opened on 5th Avenue opposite the New York Public Library. According to WWD, it has everything from a Cafe Grumpy, to a make-your-own-home-fragrance scent station, to a Green Fingers plant store, to its ‘Found Muji’ section that showcases artisanal everyday product from other regions.

Fashion-wise, the store has the biggest clothing offer of all the U.S Muji stores, including organic knitwear, $200 wool coats, flannel shirts and down gilets (take that Uniqlo). I also like the sound of the travel section which sells New York travel books and luggage designed by Muji’s design guru Naoto Fukasawa. And on the subject of books, this store is the only one selling a selection of books on Japanese lifestyle, culture and design (sample title: Leonard Koren’s ‘Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers’).

I think it’s time we gave Muji a bit more love than just stockpiling the (admittedly amazing) acrylic storage drawers so beloved of beauty vloggers. I’m hoping we’ll get a taste of the rejuvenated Muji UK-side soon…

Muji New York Flagship on 5th Avenue
Muji New York Flagship on 5th Avenue
Muji New York Flagship on 5th Avenue

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl


Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…


Tiffany X Dover Street Market
Who knew that Rei Kawakubo was such a big Tiffany fan? According to her husband (and Comme des Garcons CEO) Adrian Joffe, she always drags him into a Tiffany store if they’re passing by, hence the latest – albeit unlikely – Dover Street Market collab. Just launched in London (and Tokyo and New York), the Dover Street Market X Tiffany collaboration features products from the Tiffany archive updated with a 2015 tweak. Think 70s cufflinks converted into earrings, a sterling silver party hat, or an agate and gold bracelet from 1975 reimagined in gold and rosewood. The visual merchandising is lovely, nodding to the vignettes created by VM whizz Gene Moore for Tiffany’s famous windows back in the day.


sephora launches Teach, Inspire, Play conceptb tore stations to San Francisco store
Loving the sound of Sephora’s TIP workshops. ‘Teach, Inspire, Play’ is the mantra that Sephora is aiming to roll out in its stores, with group workshops that let customers try out makeup looks in a central workstation, aided by iPad, USB ports, and WiFi. It’s all part of the experiential bricks and mortar story that’s playing out in retail right now. As Calvin McDonald, CEO of Sephora Americas, told WWD; “When a client comes in and experiences Teach, Inspire, Play, she’s going to experience it on her own, she’s going to experience it through cast members, and she’s going to experience it through technology, and that’s where we really see our differentiator being and how we’re going to continue to innovate.” Bustle has the story here


Agi and sam X Jaeger knitwear collaboration

When Agi & Sam’s PR sent me over the pics of the Agi & Sam X Jaeger knitwear collab I had to double check that they were the right ones. The collaboration is a capsule knitwear line spun from Gostwyck yarn (I Googled it, it’s a luxurious, sustainable wool). I love the simple colour blocking ad graphic colour palette – definitely one for women to steal too. And the price point is not bad at £225. Buy it HERE and in Jaeger stores…


Is anyone else getting fabulous Isabella Blow vibes from Smythson’s eccentric new Quentin Jones Christmas film? ‘Wonderland’ is a celebration of the childlike novelty of Christmas, and Jones is the perfect person to conjure up its playful spirit with her stop-motion collage filmwork. Check it out above and HERE. (P.S: In other news, you can also buy Quentin Jones X Smythson Christmas cards HERE.)


File under accessories for your accessories. Fendi is getting rather good at creating cute little doodads to accompany your handbag. To one-up the furry Fendi bag bugs it has just launched its ‘Strap You‘ accessory, which is essentially, a bag strap. But a reversible one, that gives you different colours/skins on each side, ‘and it can also be monogrammed’, so I’m informed. Not really an essential, but it’s quite a fun concept, no? (And I do really want a python one…)

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl

Vestiaire Collective – the one that got away*

Rei Kawakubo for Louis Vuitton

Given the chance to get your hands on a ‘must have’ piece you missed the first time around is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, how thrilling! On the other, decision paralysis takes hold – how the heck do you choose between the Rei Kawakubo for Louis Vuitton bag or the Margiela L’Incognito visor shades that got away?

As it happens, ‘the one that got away’ is the name of Vestiaire Collective’s latest campaign and it promises to help you track down that elusive piece that indeed did get away, which you have regretted ever since.

Vestiaire Collective is, of course, the site that lets you buy (and sell) pre-loved pieces that are hand picked (and verified) by their buyers, as only the best pieces pass muster. I love it for all the French luxury fancies it has – from Isabel Marant elevated basics to Cartier jewels, Hermes leathers and vintage Vuitton. There’s s community aspect too, which is key. Create a profile and you can stalk follow those with similar taste to you.

Until the end of the month, Vestiaire Collective’s ‘The One That Got Away’ campaign gives you the chance to find that piece you’re pining for. By submitting your ‘wish list’ to the campaign page, the Vestiaire Collective international community can help you hunt down your piece and – hopefully – unite you with it.

And equally, should you have a ‘one that got away’ to sell, then now’s the time to do it. It can be instantly matched up with its potential buyer, making two people very happy (and you a little bit richer). Need more incentive? I’ve got a free delivery code for anyone using Vestiaire Collective – just type TOTGASHIP when prompted at checkout…


WORDS: Navaz batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl


Prada dreams

Prada Olfactories

The new Prada fragrance collection ‘Olfactories’ probably doesn’t need any more press coverage, but the marketing of these ‘fragrance collages’ appeals to my arty side. The idea is that the focus isn’t on notes or ingredients but the dreamy, subconscious feeling you get from these surrealist visuals. As Olfactories’ creator Daniela Andrier says, “there aren’t any explanations of the ingredients inside. I think it’s something we’re so fed up of; these eternal explanations of bergamot.” (more…)