When people say something is “big in Japan,” they usually mean it’s either incomprehensible or so fashion-forward that it won’t hit the States for years. And even when we get it, we might not get it. So when I heard that Mogu had opened in Nolita (258 Elizabeth Street; 212-625-2444 or mogu.com) and was, yes, B.I.J., I rolled my eyes. Then I took a look. And I got it.
Mogu is an interiors store in the guise of a toy store. Its floor cushions, beanbag chairs, and pillows are filled with Styrofoam-type beads of different sizes and covered with either a stretchy Lycra-like material or a fuzzy faux fur—both in the brightest of colors, of course. Though you need to keep them away from Fido, kids of all ages will love them (the curved body pillow is especially cuddly). They’ll also love the dozens of colorful heart-, circle-, and squiggle-shaped objects piled up in large containers—whether used as a cushion or a toy, these firm, squishy playthings are addictive. Prices range from $29 for a small heart-shaped pillow to $699.95 for the Egg stool; more furniture pieces are set to debut in May. This is one Japanese import that might be B.I.N.Y.—Big in New York.