Friday, October 21, 2016

Feature | Commercial Minimalism Shakes Up Indian Design | Rice

Just a few weeks back, two international stores made their debut in the upscale Palladium mall at Lower Parel, an area populated by swanky skyscrapers and chic boutiques.
One of the two stores – H&M, saw a staggering amount of shoppers pillaging the store on the launch date. While this was quite predictable, the amount of interest that the other store generated came as a pleasant surprise. This other store was, of course, Muji.
I remember visiting Muji for the first time during a trip to London in 2012. At that time, I couldn’t even imagine that a brand as “bare” as Muji, however intelligent, would ever find its way to India. Launched in 1980 in Japan as Mujirushi Ryohin which means “no-brand quality goods”, Muji now has a cult following around the world for its ultra functional designs, and its branding strategy of, well, non-branding.
Muji refers to its products as empty vessels and it is in essence the complete opposite of the over-embellished products that dominate the Indian marketplace. Things, however, are obviously changing, and Muji’s presence in India is a testimony to that.

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