From left, Brooke Hodge, of Hammer Museum, a translator, Masaaki Kanai of Muji and Hitoshi Abe, chair of UCLA's department of architecture and urban design.

From left, Brooke Hodge, of Hammer Museum, a translator, Masaaki Kanai of Muji and Hitoshi Abe, chair of UCLA's department of architecture and urban design.

Here Comes Muji

Japanese retailer Muji built legions of fervent fans with its unique offerings of clothing, furniture, homewares and snacks.

The opening of its second Los Angeles store is a month away, but on May 28, Muji President Masaaki Kanai dropped by Venice Arts gallery for a talk on design. The gallery is located a couple of miles away from the upcoming shop which will be located at 2936 Main Street in Santa Monica.

During the speakers panel, Kanai talked about things near and dear to the hearts of Muji fans; design, architecture and what is selling well at Muji. Kenai promised a member of the audience that the retailer’s merchandise mix isn’t entirely controlled by popularity. “We try to retail items that express the essence of Muji, even if they don’t sell well,” he said through a translator.

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