The dream of many beauty houses across the Globe, Ashleigh Sharman discovers three iconic skincare brands enjoying the power of flagship locations in 2015.
No one knows your brand better than you do. This is often the thought process of creators who hold their brand close to their heart in the midst of booming local and international expansion. The idea of a flagship store then not only a chance to openly promote a brand to consumers but a way to present the brand as it was always intended — displaying its true essence.
And it was this opportunity, to present the Waterlily brand as founder Michelle Reeve always imagined it to be enjoyed and experienced, that led to the establishment of its first Brisbane flagship, within the luxury shopping and lifestyle precinct of James Street, with timed perfection.
“As a grass roots brand we needed to be sure that we had all of our ducks in a row and for us, it also mirrored our company’s 10 year anniversary,” explains Michelle.
“With over 150 products and treatment rituals the brand has matured into one of Australia’s leading spa solutions and with spa partners around the nation we were ready to fly our flag directly to the consumer.”
For Michelle, there was only ever one obvious way to present the Waterlily Concept Store. As a spa brand she needed to transform the retail experience into the luxury and feel of an aromatic spa treatment yet without the treatment.
“We did that by honouring elements of the spa journey within the retail space. The retail experience is underpinned by the service usually experienced in a five star spa. On arrival guests are welcomed with our signature aromatherapy compress infused with geranium, lime and grapefruit.
“As the concept is being introduced they are invited to sit at the two metre long marble sensory bar and have an interactive experience with the brand while they are treated to herbal tea. It really is a place where we can inspire and educate our guests not only on skincare but on the daily rituals of health and wellbeing,” she says.
For internationally renowned Babor, 2015 also saw the opening of its first ever flagship store within the brand-new Kaisergalerie Mall located in the heart of Hamburg’s city centre.
Architect, Benedict Casademont, designed the 60 square metre store with a modern, clean design enticing visitors into a world of luxury and professional cosmetics, where Babor offers its entire skincare range including a counter dedicated just to its famed Babor ampoules.
“The elegant treatment suite lets you get away from the city hustle and offers a few highly effective treatments focusing mainly on skin analysis and consultation. You can enjoy an espresso, immerse yourself in a world of beauty and savour the feel-good factor with a high effective skin analysis and individually tailored luxury skincare,” says Babor Cosmetics Australia Sales and Brand Manager, Jenny Millar.
For Elemis, celebrating 25 years as a beauty industry leader, there seemed no better time to build on its wisdom to further empower the skin and captivate the senses — reopening its brand flagship after 14 years.
“I am so excited to present the inaugural House of Elemis in the heart of Mayfair, the home of this incredible British brand,” says Elemis President, Sean Harrington.
“My vision is to see this global stand-alone concept rolled out in every major city around the world. A wonderful couture beauty space where you can learn, touch and experience the power of Elemis.”
This luxurious Mayfair townhouse, re-conceptualised by Elemis Co-Founder Oriele Frank with designers Virgile and Partners, was designed to reflect the brand pillars: the very best that science and nature can offer.
Natural materials have been blended with textural lighting, artisanal glass, ceramic work and innovative design, and Co-Founder and Creator of Elemis therapies, Noella Gabriel, has also crafted every new treatment.
“Elemis is about skin energy. The skin is an organ — it’s alive! In our new couture beauty house we tune into the rhythm of our clients’ individual lives,” says Noella.
“In our spa boutique, the service is about more than just ‘booking time’. For us at Elemis, it’s about identifying clients’ hidden need via an in-depth consultation and shaping the time we have with them into a more tailored experience,” Noella adds, commenting that the revamped beauty house is as much to attract new clientele as it is to reward its loyal subjects.
But for all three brands a flagship is both an emotional and calculated move, not to be taken lightly but still deserving of your inspiration board and perhaps the ultimate end-goal.
“Passion is like a fingerprint. It’s so individual and distinctive. It also enables the creative process to be more intuitive and instinctive. I would say to always look inward instead of comparing yourself to your competitors. Trust your vision and don’t compromise on standards,” Michelle Reeve enthuses.
“A flagship is how you want your brand to be experienced, so detail matters and I know we got the formula right, because when I stand in the store I’m at my happiest!”