Aesop’s New Regent Street Store Is All About Georgian and Regency Architecture

LONDON Australian skin care and fragrance brand Aesop is expanding and unveiling a new store on Regent Street in central London.

This is the brand’s fifth store in the British capital. It has other locations in Covent Garden, Seven Dials, Soho and Shoreditch.

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Aesop has moved into the space previously occupied by clothing and outerwear brand Matchless London, which opened a London flagship in May 2021.

The new outpost draws inspiration from the style of Georgian and Regency-era architect John Nash, who designed the Royal Pavilion in Brighton; Marble Arch; Buckingham Palace, and Regent Street with his collaborator James Burton.

The large, minimal space is meant to be an oasis of calm on the busy shopping street, and channel the essence of Aesop.

The oversized, stately basin in the store’s principal room is an ode to the water fountains of Regency architecture; the arched ceilings point to the cupolas of classical design. It’s a first in the U.K. besides Australia where customers can test out the products on their faces.

There are two doors inside: one leads to the Sensorium, which the brand describes as “an intimate space” where customers can sample the fragrances and even diffuse an item of clothing with their chosen Aesop scent by placing the garment on a hanger that’s sprayed and left to linger for a few minutes.

The other door opens to the facial room, which is meant to emulate a cozy living room with soft furnishings complemented by muted timber and cork.

Each Aesop location is distinct, but still keeping with the brand’s minimalism design DNA. - Credit: Courtesy of Aesop

Each Aesop location is distinct, but still keeping with the brand’s minimalism design DNA. – Credit: Courtesy of Aesop

Courtesy of Aesop

Each Aesop location is distinct and in character with its neighborhood, but in keeping with the brand’s minimalist design aesthetic. The Covent Garden store is a clinical white with a green, geometric pattern floor; the Soho shop takes a more brutalist approach with a gray color palette and an industrial feel.

For Pride month, Aesop reintroduced its queer library program, which made its debut in 2021.

The Soho store offered customers a selection of books for free to highlight voices from within the LGBTQ community with a special emphasis on authors of color.

Some of the selected work on display included Matthew Lopez’s “The Inheritance”; Ocean Vuong’s “Time Is a Mother”; Paul Mendez’s “Rainbow Milk,” and many more.

The brand’s expansion doesn’t end on Regent Street. Aesop is preparing to open its first store in Shanghai in mainland China. No official date has been set yet because of the recent lockdowns in the country.

Aesop operates 25 stores and nine department store counters in Asia, including Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei and South Korea.

The brand has 269 stores worldwide and has been expanding across France and Australia recently.

Retail remains a success story for Aesop, generating 76.5 percent of total sales.

In 2021, Aesop’s mother company Natura & Co., the Brazilian cosmetics group, posted net revenue of $7.6 billion. The company also owns The Body Shop and Avon.

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