Upscale Australian skin care brand Aesop has opened its first two Canadian locations. A third location is set to open soon in Montreal, as the brand expands its brick-and-mortar presence worldwide.
Aesop’s Toronto location is at 880 Queen Street West, in Toronto’s trendy ‘West Queen West’ neighbourhood. The 990 square foot boutique was created in collaboration with local architecture firm superkül. Hilary Kellar-Parsons of Avison Young represented Aesop and negotiated the Toronto lease.
Aesop’s 615 square foot Vancouver location is at 19 Water Street, in Vancouver’s trendy Gastown area. The interior’s prominent material feature is Douglas Fir, which forms a mosaic surface that shrouds walls, ceiling and floor. The Vancouver store is located next to unusual luxury boutique Secret Location, featuring a uniquely curated collection of fashion and lifestyle products, as well as an adjacent restaurant.
Aesop was founded in 1987 in Melbourne by hairdresser Dennis Paphitis. Product packaging is simple, and its quality is considered to be exceptional. It sources plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients, and uses only those with a proven record of safety and efficacy. It operates free-standing ‘signature stores’ as well as wholesale operations in a variety of retailers, high-end department stores such as Holt Renfrew and Barneys New York. Canadian stocklists include multiple WANT Apothecary and gravitypope locations, as well as a handful of smaller independents.
In March, guest author William Connor wrote an extensive piece on the brand for Retail Insider, where he explained the brand at length. Farla Efros, President of leading retail consultancy HRC Advisory, commented on how luxury brands continue to look to Canada for growth.
Aesop’s New York City office says that it will provide details on the new Montreal store when it opens, and we’ll update this article accordingly.
(Article published by Retail-Insider with photographs by Helen Siwak)