Aesop Soho

· Sunday June 29, 2014

It's an unfortunate but inevitable truth that accessibility and inclusivity are often seen as antithetical qualities in luxury products – where consumer aspiration is so intrinsic to success. Australian-born Aesop is a glowing exception to this rule however, and has spent the last ten years developing what is now an international brand renowned for its commitment to understated quality, timeless design and impeccable taste. This ethos permeates every facet of their identity, from their apothecary-inspired packaging to the design of their stores - each a unique expression of the brand in the context of its own surroundings. According to founder Dennis Paphitis, they wanted to avoid “the kind of assault on the street scape that retailers inflict through the ordinary course of mindless business, the idea that one size would so often be forced to fit all.”

Aesop has eight stores around London, as well as consignments in major department store and distribution agreements with some other retailers. Their Soho store, designed by Parisian architects Ciguë, is a bright corner space on Lexington Street reminiscent of the high school biology lab, but with walls adorned with shelves of beautiful botanical cosmetics rather than faded anatomical diagrams.