Momoko Mizutani

This week we spoke with our friend, Momo, owner of the beloved design shop, Momosan, located on a sweet little stretch of East London's Wilton Way. Because we covet just about everything in her store—not to mention admire her innate sense of style—we were curious to know what possession she would place in her so-called 'Permanent Collection'.

Momoko Mizutani: My 'thing' is nothing fancy: just the pebbles and shells and other bits I collect whenever I escape from city life.

Permanent Collection: Why did you select them, what distinguishes them for you?

M.M.: They are just examples of pure beauty and have no ego in themselves.
P.C.: What's the story of this beautiful collection?

M.M.: The story is that they hold the history of the Earth, and they are completely unique and individual—no human could make them. They represent the time and place when I found them in my life, but also the time they took to look for them. I find that immersing myself in nature and taking the time to focus on looking is very meditative. You just feel nothing else matters when you are in that moment, searching the beach or field for something beautiful. 

P.C.: Tell us your favorite places in London to wander, eat and shop.

M.M.: I love to take long walks in Hampstead Heath—it feels so wild still, even though it's in the middle of the city. When I'm there, I often try to pop in for a visit to 2 Willow Road, Ernö Goldfinger's 1930s Modernist home which is now owned by the National Trust—it's an amazing bit of architecture. I also love to wander along the Regent's Canal—it's very peaceful and stretches for miles across London. And also because you can stop at the Towpath Café for a delicious lunch or tea, sitting at tables right on the canal! Another favorite pastime is cycling around London hoping to discover little-known modernist estates. London isn't known for its 20th-century architecture, but there are so many hidden gems, ranging from Deco to Brutalist...