Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Aesop's Signature Style

Aside from being at the forefront of the boutique cosmetics industry with its range of high quality skin, hair and body products comprising plant based ingredients, the brand in the amber bottle has also made a compelling statement with innovative retail design.

In November Aesop revealed its freshest face in Singapore where March Studio utilised thirty kilometres of coconut husk string to create a light fixture spanning the entire ceiling. Aesop Director Dennis Paphitis was inspired by the twine used to tie the company’s gift boxes, a regional product.

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Paphitis says, “Geography, climate and light all inform which path we take with our design decisions. For Singapore, we referenced the humble ball of twine with which we wrap and detail our gift boxes. The entire store is framed with meticulously detailed grids that suspend twine from the ceiling. The idea is to work with a sombre material palette in an unexpected way. We’ve used coir matting as carpet and marine plywood to detail our storage units which conceal a palette of Le Corbusier-inspired coloured wall panels.”

Each stores’ signature look is unique and a reflection and celebration of its location. Visual merchandising is limited to furniture and interiors that provide function, allowing optimum space and movement. Sustainability is also a design consideration.

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Flinders Lane Melbourne – March Studio. Made entirely of industrial grade cardboard including shelving and the counter top.

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Strand Arcade Sydney – March Studio. Hero material is porcelain used for tiles and small furnishings.

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Zurich – March Studio. Use of suspended shelving fitted with camouflaged tubing providing illusion of space ad weightlessness in a low ceilinged space with an awkward column arrangement.

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Rundle Mall Adelaide – March Studio. The ceiling is composed of 7560 recycled amber bottles arranged in a wave pattern.

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Mayfair London – Ilse Crawford. The old fashioned fittings and furniture, including a claw foot bath tie in with the heritage building.

Stay tuned for pics of Aesop’s latest design offering in Shoreditch London.

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