High Fashion Into Luxe Cosmetics: Rise of the ‘Beautique'
Luxury fashion brands are affirming their belief in the pulling power of beauty with a wave of standalone luxury 'Beautiques'. French powerhouses Hermès and Dior are the latest advocates following two deluxe Beauty Box formats in London and Seoul by British brand Burberry (in 2014 and early 2015 respectively). See Burberry: Tech-Tastic Beauty for more.
- Hermès Perfumery – 225 Liberty: Hermès has opened its first-ever perfumery in the upmarket Brookfield Mall in downtown Manhattan. Designed in collaboration with Paris-based RDAI and RF Studio architects in the US, the 1,000 sq ft space is largely furnished in walnut wood, and has the ambience of a modern apothecary courtesy of elegant, sweeping interior lines and subtle backlit shelving. The store also features a central library where "perfume librarians" dispense fragrances.
Adding an additional multimedia experience, the brand has created an accompanying augmented reality (AR) app, Liberty 225 – a reference to the store's address. The app can be used to reveal hidden surprises at certain product display points to reveal visual nods to the brand's heritage – such as a horse (its equestrian design roots) and the Eiffel Tower (its native France).
- Dior Beauty: Dior has debuted its first US beauty boutique within the Forums Shop Mall at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. The store has a slick black-and-chrome interior and high-tech make-up bars that feature several light settings to mimic different environments, and a skincare area for by-appointment private facials. Three more locations are slated to open in 2015 in Santa Clara, Dallas and New York.
Carrying the full line of Dior make-up and fragrances, the 965 sq ft store joins French fashion house Chanel, which opened its first US beauty concept in the venue in February 2015.
With Hermès stating in August 2015 that sales of its scents had risen by 10% in the past 12 months, and LVMH revealing that its 10 perfume and cosmetics brands accumulatively grew by 6% in the first half of 2015, beauty remains an exceptionally buoyant market - and a key sweet spot for nurturing future luxury consumers.
See also Chanel Unveils Standalone Beauty Boutique, Selling Scent, Bespoke Beauty: New Retail Strategy, Alluring Perfumeries and Rethinking Beauty: Luxury Perspectives.