We recently got the chance to pop into the new Aesop shop in San Francisco, a charming little boutique that opened December 20th. Located on the shopper's paradise of Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, the cork-and-pine shop cuts an understated figure when compared to flashy retail outlets like Jonathan Adler or Marc Jacobs down the block. That's par for the course with Aesop, a brand of Melbourne-based cosmetics and body products. Over the last decade, the company has built up a clutch of fantastic retail spaces done by an enviable array of architects. An Aesop interior tends to emphasize one material—corrugated cardboard, pine boxes, a giant sink—making it, not the rows of creams and balms, the star. In San Francisco, the first Aesop shop on the West Coast, the star is a welter of pine boxes jutting out from one wall designed by NADAAA, a Boston firm that also did an Aesop store in Manhattan. About this time last year we had a long chat with Aesop founder Dennis Paphitis about what drives the design culture at his company, how he thinks about interior space, and what precisely he means by "exaggerated minimalism."
December 31, 2012