Aesop Mid Valley was designed with Malaysia’s tropical forests in mind, according to Aesop’s Head of Store Design Marianne Lardilleux.

Going into an Aesop store is always a treat — no two stores are designed the same, and the experience with each one is always different. The latest store to open is in Mid Valley, and it looks completely different from its sister store in 1 Utama Shopping Centre. Inspired by the form and hues of Malaysia’s tropical forests, we see solid Kempas timber planks used in the freestanding basins and counters, while off-white hues are contrasted against the dark wood, bringing to mind the inner florets of banana blossoms.

To find out more about the Aesop Mid Valley outlet, we spoke to Aesop’s Head of Store Design Marianne Lardilleux. Below, she tells us the inspiration behind the design ethos, what feelings they wanted to evoke from the Aesop Mid Valley store, and more.

Every Aesop store in Malaysia seems to have its own uniqueness in design. Can you tell us what distinguishes the Mid Valley outlet from the others in Malaysia?

Every new project at Aesop is the occasion to collaborate with creative Architects. For our seventh Signature Store in Malaysia, we have invited the New York firm Marsollier Villacorta LLC to explore the Malay culture and to design our space. 

What’s the core design ethos of Aesop Mid Valley?

Our approach to store design is always to add something local into our stores, and of value, that connects with our customers. Wherever possible, we retain original features and we strive to support and engage with the neighbourhoods we enter, and to become a part of the social fabric. 

Malaysia is rich in all its different cultures and offers an incredible source of inspiration for architects. The rainforest, which occupies more than  50% of the country came quickly as an inspiration for the designers. The intent is to create a dialogue between our local customers and the way we can preserve this precious natural resource through sustainable methods of fabrication and construction.

 

What is the key element or finish that shoppers will notice in Aesop Mid Valley?

The furniture in Aesop Mid Valley is made of Malay Kempas solid wood, a local resource usually used for parquet. Customers will appreciate the finish and the assembled details that reveal the fine graphic textures and of the timber. The colour and the beauty of the wood are accentuated by the simple beige envelope of the store inspired by the inner florets of banana blossoms.

What sort of feelings do you want to evoke from shoppers who walk into Aesop Mid Valley?

We selected local wood as the main material, with the intent to create a feeling of domesticity and to capture the essence of Malaysia. It’s a warm space to pause and interact socially outside of the bustling mall.

How does the design of Aesop Mid Valley place emphasis on Aesop products within the store?

A recognisable aspect of any of our stores is the abundant display of our products. In Aesop Mid Valley a full wall covered with Kempas wood shelves welcomes our full range. There is also a correlation between the colours of the stores and the bottles; each material is selected to value our traditional amber glass.

What is the focal point of the Aesop Mid Valley store?

While we give the same attention to every piece of our store, the basin is a key focal point. Our desire is to welcome and invite our customers to try our products or simply to cleanse their hands around a comfortable sink.

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.