In a world obsessed with quick-fix internet shopping—Aesop is one brand that continues to totally transfix us with an up-close and personal, intimate, human-to-human retail experience. It might be because Aesop’s products have a hypnotic fragrance and feel that’s best tried and tested in person. It might also be because sampling Aesop products—hand soap, serums, shampoos, lotions and oils included—is a small, spellbinding luxury.
We’re fairly sure, however, it has a lot to do with the unique design of each store, making each Aesop outpost a wellness destination in its own right.
The latest in the legendary skincare label’s retail arsenal is a little larger than the neat-sized stores we’ve come to know and love from Aesop. Aesop Sydney is the largest Aesop store to date—featuring an immense, glossy stainless steel counter, a little amphitheatre and a wall dedicated to a rotating curation of digital art. The store replaces the previous Level 4 Westfield shop—and though it’s larger than usual and located centre stage in Pitt Street Mall, it’s still very much a serene, calming experience.
While Aesop typically collaborates with local designers to imagine their new stores, like the pool-inspired Paddington store by Melbourne-based Clare Cousins Architects, this time they’ve called in Olso-based Snøhetta. The Norwegian design frim collabs regularly with Aesop, but they’re probably best known for Under, Norway’s enchanting underwater restaurant. Aesop Sydney is definitely above the ground, taking its design cues instead from local sandstone and granite, and Wrapped Coast—a monumental art installation by European artists Christo and Jean Claude that involved wrapping a few kilometres of Sydney's Little Bay in white sails in 1969.
Striped, bridge-sawed granite wraps around the perimeter of the store, like undulating cliffs. A set-back threshold allows you to decompress from the chaos of Pitt Street outside, and towards the back, a set of three private vanities have been set up for you get sampling in a more private atmosphere.
You'll find the full suite of Aesop products to shop, from the Parsely Seed range all the way through to the iconic Marrakech fragrance, Fabulous Face Cleanser and styled gift boxes.
It's the bathroom you wish you had, and the escape you totally need from the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
Image credit: Aesop.