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April 19 2014

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Aesop Re-Emphasizes America

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As 2010 draws to a close, Aesop is making some serious strides to be a major player in the U.S. market next year. After a brief hiatus on American shores, the much-loved Australian skin, hair, and bodycare company—known for its apothecary-style packaging and its pared down yet highly effective natural essential oil-based formulas—just teamed up with A.P.C for another round of cross-promotional merchandising. This month, four of its latest releases finally debut stateside.

“We didn’t exit the market [here]; we just de-emphasized it in the U.S. because it was hard to manage from Australia,” Giovanni Lepori, Aesop’s general manager and president for the Americas, explains. After going to great lengths to swipe a number of travel-sized Aesop amenities from the Park Hyatt in Tokyo on a recent trip to Japan (the brand is stocked there as well as other luxury properties across Europe and Asia), we’re happy to have them back a little closer to home. Newcomers like its Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream, which blends incredibly emollient jojoba, rosehip, and shea butter oils together yet somehow manages to impart a non-greasy, matte finish, and its Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil, the perfect wintertime face wash that removes makeup and grease without stripping skin of its moisture, have just rolled out to Barneys, where they will be joined by a Deodorant and the refreshing B & Tea Balancing Toner. Well-edited boutiques like Modern Anthology in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood and Freemans Sporting Club will also stock selections from the line, although Lepori intends on keeping distribution limited. “People like that they can’t find it everywhere,” he admits.

There will be one more place you can get the collection in its entirety, though: After much location scouting, a freestanding Aesop store will open in New York come spring. “It’s definitely going to be downtown,” Lepori told us, hinting at the West Village, Soho, or Nolita for the flagship, which should be something to behold considering the brand goes to great lengths to ensure that each of its stores is different while embodying the same overall ethos. Fingers crossed Australian architect and Aesop favorite Rodney Eggleston also makes the trip; Eggleston recently completed work on a Singapore outpost of the retailer that includes a ceiling covered with about 30 kilometers of coconut husk, which follows his “glass bottle ceiling” triumph in Adelaide and the cardboard pop-up shop he executed for the company in Melbourne.

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