NY-based designer Mansi Shah creates unique accessories and products all with her custom designed signature prints. Always traveling for inspiration, we spoke with Mansi about her recent travels to Japan.
Where are you from?
Born in India, raised in Los Angeles
Where do you live?
Chinatown in New York
You recently traveled to Japan. What inspired you there?
My last trip was to Japan with a friend. We rode bikes all around Kyoto and snuck into the ICC Kyoto, which is a geometric concrete megastructure set in the middle idyllic mountain ranges. We ran around the empty center, opening doors that led to bizarro sci-fi interiors with colorful hexagonal chairs and chandeliers that looked like Dreamachines. The most inspiring place we went to in Tokyo was Meikyoku Kissa Lion in Shibuya, a classical music cafe with pew-style seats that face floor to ceiling wooden speakers. The sound was so all encompassing that all you could do was sit there and close your eyes.
What souvenirs did you bring back with you?
I brought back so much candy! Japanese candy is so beautiful with impeccable packaging. It's really a designer's dream. Also picked up the Bless issue of mono kultur magazine and a book of Nathalie du Pasquier's lesser-known still life paintings from Utrecht in Minato.
Name your favorite travel destination …
For inspiration: Tokyo, I would move to Japan in a heartbeat!
For relaxation: LA to visit my family and recharge on my mum's homemade Indian food. Her cooking is magical, truly restorative.
For a quick getaway: In LA, I used to take weekend trips to the desert. Stay at the 29 Palms Inn and visit the Integratron for a sound bath or go to the Noah Purifoy sculpture park in Joshua Tree. Quick getaways don't happen as much in NY because I'd rather stay and explore the city. I love spending a day walking/snacking around Jackson Heights or drawing at the MET.
See Mansi Shah at Capsule New York Women's Show