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

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


What’s in store from Selfridges this Christmas?

Personalised Mini moet champagne Selfridges

I know it’s not cool to talk about Christmas when the clocks have only just gone back but let’s be realistic. The shopping season starts early these days, and stores have to do what they can to grab attention. Last week saw Selfridges unveil its Christmas offer, ‘Journey to the Stars’ which is themed around constellations – aka everything to do with the galaxy, astrology, spiritualism and mysticism.

Selfridges is also maximising its offer on personalisation as it has done for the last two years. Christmas is the one season when people love to customise their gifting. (Tip: make sure your giftee really wants that novelty sweater embroidered with their initials, they’ll have a hard time eBaying re-gifting it otherwise.) (Side note: please tell me Christmas jumpers were just a one year blip?) While the personalised Nutella jar of yesteryear is back again, this year’s biggie is the mini Moet champagne bottle (above), that can be customised with a photo.

As a first, Selfridges is showcasing its entire Christmas gift offer both in store and online. So you can either go the convenience route and just click to buy your Fornasetti Astro pattern plates (coming soon), starsign perfume (below), or Jo Malone London cracker (my edit below will help you). Or you can be rewarded for braving the shop floor. There’s a host of ‘experientials’ to enjoy, including a psychic and mystical playground called the ‘Astrolounge’ and accessories from The Unseen (that respond to the environment around them in spooky ways).  Oh and there’s a £24,000 Star Wars battle pod to play with.


WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl

Chanel codes: the two-tone slingbacks

Chanel slingbacks AW15

I won’t lie, I’m struggling with the idea of next season’s chunky-soled flatforms with their tacky gold chain (here and here) or lit-up soles. This season’s Chanel is far more me, the very same two-toe slingbacks that Gabrielle Chanel used to wear – completely unmodified.

Chanel put this shoe on all its models for the AW15 show and is giving it a big push with a series of videos. Four in fact, and very charming they are too. I’ve got to say, someone at Chanel is doing an outstanding job on the content front …

WORDS AND IMAGE: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl