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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.