So last week I took a trip to the Kiehl’s store on Monmouth Street. I have always loved the aesthetics of this store for some reason. I’m going to clone the term ‘Clinical Chic,’ if that’s even a thing. From the iconic skeleton that normally sits at the front of any store to the beaker effect lightbulbs – it is clear that the designers behind the store concept, really paid attention to every detail.
The day I went into the store, it was truly my lucky day because unbeknown to me, Jack Griffiths, the Design Project manager for a lot of the Kiehl’s stores was in the store that day. I was buzzing because this obviously meant valuable blog content! Everyone in the store were extremely warm and Jack Griffiths took time out to speak to me for 30 mins about the history behind the store designs. There always a good story behind every great interior.
Kiehl’s has 160 years experience in the skincare field and the very first store was in East Village, New York and it still there today and 41 boutique stores followed swiftly behind.
I was curious as to how Griffiths began designing each store and he explained that he always starts off with a blank canvas and then starts the allocation process of furniture and historically traditional objects that definitely need to be in the store.
The Kiehl’s brand has a lot of history. If you look around the stores, you’ll notice that old materials such as Tin tiled ceilings and timber floors, have been used to give the stores texture and authenticity back to the original idea in East Village, New York.
There are also individual elements/objects that mean more than you think:
1.SKELETON- ‘MR BONES’
Every time I walked in and saw lab coats, I thought it was just the signature look with very little meaning behind it. However, Irvine Morse (aka Dr Morse), who inherited the company from his father, was into Apothecary [a person who prepared and sold medicines and drugs]. Yes, I just used Google LOL. But anyway, years ago, Apothecary was more than just selling beauty products- it was like going to the ‘doctor’. For example, people used to come into the store with gunshot wounds and the iconic skeleton that you normally see hanging around the stores was used to help Dr Morse show customers/clients what was going on inside their bodies. – There were no x-rays in those days, so the skeleton was a saving grace.
2. HARLEY DAVIDSON MOTORBIKES
Dr. Morse was asked by someone close by if he could store his bikes in the store and he approved. He slowly realised that is was a good business strategy to lure guys into the store, so he kept it around for years and years. You rarely ever see men in skincare stores- well that’s the beauty of a Harley Davidson. Men and their toys.
If you look closely at some of the products, you’ll see that they have an airplane logo. Dr Morse’s son Aaron Morse used to have a plane that he loved and used for stunts regularly, and so the idea to use the airplane as a logo came to life.
4. DOG BOWLS/HORSE PRODUCTS
In some stores around the world, you’ll see dog bowls with water at the front of the store. These bowls stemmed from people coming into the stores with their dogs, which allowed the idea to accommodate dogs in the stores, to flourish. The brand was built on community, and the stores definitely reflect that. I think that the company even have animal products- mainly horses. This came from Aaron Morse’s daughters love for horses, which then led to horse products too- check out the Equine Line, if you have a horse 🙂
Well, they say you learn something new every day – I honestly left thinking ‘I literally just wanted a few pictures,’ but I came out with all this knowledge and it taught me that every great design concept really has a story.
Although there are a lot of elements that are authentic an historic. There are some features that are new, but really add character to the store. For example, I love the beaker styled lights- I think they are really clever and complements the scientific theme very well. I also like the chandeliers, which gives the store an expensive glam feel, which works well because as soon as you walk in you are given the impression that you’re probably looking at quality products at a higher price point.
I really enjoyed my experience at the Monmouth St store and I loved the neon lighting with monochrome wallpaper art too. The stores are always vibrant and welcoming and let’s not forget to mention how good the products actually are. Their Unique formulations are made with the finest naturally-derived ingredients and are amazing for the skin. If you’re into natural products, this is the brand for you! I have used the Ultra Facial Cream, which I love and keeps my skin really hydrated. Link for that is here.
If you’d like to try some of their products, the Kiehl’s store on Monmouth St have kindly offered my followers A FREE MINI FACIAL with the code: Apartment19.[Only for the Monmouth St store, which is in Covent Garden] : ) Enjoy !!!!!
Thank you to Kiehl’s and Jack Griffiths for having me!
Some pictures below are also from the Kiehl’s stand at Selfridges, but the offer doesn’t apply here.