I was introduced to Muji (SoHo) by my friend who went there to buy pens. At first, I was quite intrigued that there is a store dedicated to stationery. However, Muji is much more than that.
My first impression of the place was a very "zen" atmosphere. Ambiance music in the background and a lingering smell of ginger make you feel like you were at a spa. The space was brightly lit (unlike the dark, say, Abercrombie & Fitch) and opened up with earthy tones. Like the general atmosphere of SoHo, the store was crowded but nevertheless peaceful.
Stationery constitutes only a fraction of what this lifestyle store carries. I was very impressed with the fashion items, which range from knit capes, cotton shirts, sweaters, to boots, gloves, and handbags. Prices range from $20 to $200. Black, grey and camel are the dominant colors of these effortlessly cool items.
Founded in Japan in 1980, Muji's major concepts include simplicity ("through a complexity of thought and design"), recycling (eliminating waste) and a no-brand policy. The thoughtfulness shows through clever products like the gloves with special fabric on the index and thumb areas, allowing wearers to use touch screens. I highly encourage you to check out Muji's online store and see what it's about, even though it doesn't carry as much apparel as the store.