This week, a look at how Aesop have taken a fresh approach to their retail store designs – by giving all of their stores a unique look. Each one of the Australian skincare brand’s carefully created stores is specially designed to fit in with the character and community of it’s location – from Paris to London, New York to Kyoto. Whilst the brand is unmistakeable, each store offers a different visual customer experience, which appeals to shoppers in different ways.
Whilst these stores don’t adhere to a similar vision, they do share a singular philosophical approach as Aesop’s creative director, Marsha Meredith told co.design – as she explained how the brand went about creating such individual yet simultaneously stunning retail spaces:
“The core thing that we try to do is create a little respite from the clutter of everyday life. The shops offer a moment of sanctuary and calm—you can appreciate the sense that good design offers.”
“When we sat down and thought about the core component that would feed back into our philosophy, we thought in each community we should work with the fabric of the street. When we boil it down to specific components, it was materials, architects, features, and aesthetics based on the location. “Such a great thought from the beginning was to reject sameness.
“From the first store in St. Kilde, even though we didn’t have a rule book, [founder Dennis Paphitis] instinctively rejected sameness.”
Despite this variation in retail styles, Meredith explains that maintaining a strong brand identity throughout each new retail space is key. They reject sameness but keep a tight edit – like different manifestations of one personality:
“The discipline is really in the stripping back and keeping it as minimal as possible. It’s a challenging thing to do. Anyone creating a painting or a piece of music wants to add a little more. The beauty with all the new stores is that they’re simply elegant, be it modern or vintage.”
We think this is a very interesting idea and that all of the stores look fabulous. If you want to check out some of the store designs for yourself, there is a dedicated space on the Aesop website, entitled ‘Taxonomy of Design” which showcases the styles, with videos, visuals, designers features and materials used. A fascinating place for anyone interested in how these kind of retail spaces are put together.