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Cellure is a small, unassuming shop on the block of Soho between Prince and Spring that is home to Missoni, DKNY, and Elie Tahari. The Korea-based company opened this location, their US flagship, in October. They only sell a handful of products, which are the components of their "stem cell facial" beauty regimen. The products—as they'll remind you several times, often before you have a chance to ask—are not harvested from embryos; they come from adults who donate tissue.
When you walk in, you'll see nine small booths along the left half of the shop. That's where would-be customers can try the products out for themselves. There's a sink and a large screen at face level that plays a short informational program about the company and the products, then walks you through the regimen—cleanser, toner, eye serum, and day and night creams.
Between the sleek, cool-blue décor and the disembodied female voice who walks you through the skincare regimen, you'll start wondering if you accidentally walked through a portal and ended up in Minority Report or A.I. But the good news is that the products, which come in small sample-size white tubes, are easy to use and smell faintly of citrus. If you're really brave, Cellure will snap a photo of you in the booth, with your hair tucked into a shower cap and your skin newly refreshed and revitalized, and email it to you or even post it on Facebook on your behalf.
The store's doyenne is COO Esther Chang, who wears pink glasses and has a warm smile. Chang got a PhD in education before she ended up at Cellure, and she says that her background helps in her current gig. "I can talk to people and relay information," she says. So far, many of Cellure's most loyal customers started as drop-ins. "A venture capitalist who had almost invested in a stem-cell company came in and bought the entire line for himself and the eye serum for his girlfriend," Chang tells me. "Most of our customers are men. They get the science. Women want to know how this will fit in with their current regimen and mix with other products they use."
Whether you're a beauty junkie on the hunt for your next product obsession or just curious about the the science behind this skincare innovation, drop in at 422 West Broadway and try it out for yourself. And if you want to make a whole day of luxury, head across town to Momofuku, owned and operated by Chang's brother David. Now that';s one well-connected family.—Lilit Marcus