There is a store called Found MUJI in Aoyama. I like this place and often visit to see what they have in stock.

Every time there is a lineup of items selected under some theme, and I have no idea whether it’s monthly or what, but the selections are always delightful and exciting.

As some of you know, this shop is related to Muji. I think they carry some Muji products, but most of the other products can only be purchased at this store. Many of them are from other Asian countries or from regions around Japan. For example, reinforced kraft paper used as packing material. Resin-based thread is woven through the layers of paper in a diamond-shape, and is often used for moving and for wrapping pieces of clothing.

Book cover made from paper with diamond-patterned threading, featuring kraft and black threading / A5-size
Sacoche bag. With plant fiber material traditionally favored by the Hmong people of Vietnam used for the exterior and organic cotton as the lining material. Aoyama store exclusive. ¥1490 including tax.

The most recent theme has been on products made out of paper: bags made out of reinforced kraft paper from Tamba and book covers and clear folders (although not really clear) made out of the same material; handkerchief and yukata (summer kimono) made out of Mino washi (Japanese paper) paper yarn and cotton. There are so many things that I want. Today, I settled on a clear folder, book cover, handkerchief, and face masks made out of scrap organic cotton material. And I also picked up a paperback from a book series that this company has been involved in editing and reissuing. As I carried my selection to the cash register, I noticed a sacoche bag made out of linen-like material on a hanger. “Oh, I also wanted this!,” I exclaimed and picked one up. The cashier replied, “That is exclusive to this shop.” Exclusive or not, it’s still wonderful. Upon close inspection, I see that it is made out of plant fiber. Unlike most sacoche bags out there, this one is not too sporty but has a more bookish look, which really clicked with me.

T-shirt dress ¥6,500 (scheduled price) Kume Sen-i Co., Ltd.

I was involved in the making of the T-shirt dress a while ago. With the coronavirus epidemic, we missed the right timing to release it before it got hot and was forgotten. I am strongly attracted to women’s dresses. It’s not because I like seeing people in dresses, or because I want to wear them. But simply because I am envious. Men’s outfits are made up of separate tops and bottoms, and those that are one-piece tend to be bulky. I wish for clothing that is thin, light, and easily made small by folding. I simply appreciate the functionality of women’s dresses for their convenience when traveling, and for not taking up too much closet space. I thought it would be simple and nice if I took a men’s T-shirt and made it long for women.

It’s made out of material that is a little heavier than your regular T-shirt and good enough to go out in just this. I was a little worried that it might be a bit see-through, but “that’s not a problem at all. But, it doesn’t have any pockets,” according to Naoko Kato, the co-editor of AWW. She has a point. Without pockets, you don’t know what to do with your hands. So men and women do have the same problems. However, production-wise, it’s not possible.

The larger bag that Tya has in her hand is an original product by AWW magazine. I thought it was a mass-produced bag with their logo printed but it turned out to be based on the tattered, vintage New Yorker tote that Naoko always has. They had it recreated, down to the broken-in feel. The size looks perfect for different uses, from grocery shopping to going to work to even yoga.

A set of two triple-layered masks. ¥999 including tax, Muji Ginza

The mask is made of scrap organic cotton material with antimicrobial finishing. It utilizes leftover fabric and has become a quick staple. It’s great that it’s washable and reusable. Among the many masks out there, this is the most functional.

Book Hito to Mono 9: Juzo Itami, Muji Book ¥550 including tax, Paper cloth handkerchief ¥1600 including tax, Both at Found MUJI Aoyama

The late summer heat lingers, but summer will be over soon. On days when I get out of work early, I would hit happy hours for a gin and tonic or a glass of white wine. I would read Juzo Itami’s book that I picked up at Found MUJI, and deepen my knowledge. Even better would be to head to Ahiru Store while it’s still light out to have some white wine. But we’re in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to spend time like that. Probably not. After all, summer is the busiest time of the year for those of us in the fashion industry. But if I keep at it like that, I’ll really come down with the coronavirus. I shall simply rest in moderation and live my days in moderation.

Styled & Written by Akio Hasegawa
Photographed by Seishi Shirakawa
Hair & Make-up by Kenichi Yaguchi
Model: Tya