Turns out no-nonsense Australian beauty line Aesop isn't planning to open three stores in Manhattan before Christmas, as previously reported—they're planning to open four. A kiosk in Grand Central will open around July 5, shops in Greenwich Village and Nolita will launch in early August, and if all goes well, a Bleecker Street flagship should begin welcoming customers sometime around Christmas.
The Greenwich Village shop, on University Place, is the latest addition in Aesop's evolving plan to conquer New York City. The company takes pride in its low-key, straightforward approach to beauty, focusing on high-quality ingredients at the expensive of fanfare, so they're not going to plaster the city with ads. Instead, they're hoping that the four small stores—all of them under 500 square feet—will reinforce each other, attracting customers by word of mouth.
The Hong Kong store's bamboo-covered exterior
If the Manhattan stores look anything like the ones in Australia, Asia, and Europe, they should also bring people with their unusual design. An Aesop shop in Adelaide has a ceiling made out of bottles, while another in Singapore has a ceiling draped in string. US president Giovanni Lepori tells us they haven't yet nailed down the details for the four Manhattan stores, though the first three will share a local architect. The fourth, on Bleecker, will use the same architect who's done Aesop flagships overseas. But all four will have sinks and running water for in-person demonstrations.
The shops will also all have bags printed with "New York A-Z", the brand's alphabetized guide to the best of New York City. The London A-Z includes items like "Jellied eels from F. Cooke" and "Porchester Spa and Turkish Baths," so this isn't going to be just a bunch of downtown stores. Lepori says he's still pulling together his list, though he's having trouble with J—we're guessing Jeffrey is a little too obvious.
· Aesop Skin Care Plans a New York City Hat Trick [Racked NY]
· Aussie Skincare Line Aesop Bares Its Heart in Nolita [Racked NY]