Nestled amongst premium men’s fashion retailers in the iconic Athenaeum Club Building, it seemed only fitting that the flagship Aesop Collins Street store be designed as a hark back to old-world masculinity. Kerstin Thompson Architects created a space filled with leather, copper, black steel and grey goat hair carpet, giving it the look and feel of a private gentleman’s salon. The subdued and dimmed lighting works perfectly to enhance that feeling, with a few lamps featuring here and there to make it seem as if you’ve entered into the study of a 19th century gent.
The store comprises of some minimal wall shelving where you’ll find the actual Aesop products; sometimes it’s easy to forget that they’re usually why you’ve gone in there in the first place! Furniture is also kept to a minimum with a custom bureau made to be the testing station.
Walking into the store feels like you’re walking into someone’s private space; it’s welcoming yet it seems like you should be speaking in hushed tones, keeping your voice low so you don’t disturb anyone else in there. Aesop stores are renowned for being custom designed to reflect the location they’re in. Where some are super restrained and minimal – sometimes bordering on clinical – others are a lot louder, bringing the products and design elements out of the background. The Collins Street store sits somewhere in the middle and seems to be a lot warmer and more personable than others around the world. We think it’s the ideal place for the modern day gent to pop in to pick up his grooming products.