LONDON — Harrods Beauty, the sequel, is set to debut this week, with skin care in the starring role and more than 40 brands — across wellness, naturals, J-beauty, medi-cosmetics and technology — all playing a big part, too.
The skin-care destination is the second in a three-phase project: Over the summer, the Beauty Halls opened with color cosmetics and lifestyle brands, while the final installment, the downstairs treatment, masterclass rooms and beauty concierge, will be revealed at the end of January.
Harrods’ director of beauty Annalise Fard has created a 9,000-square-foot space that seeks to satisfy a variety of skin-care needs and to play to consumers’ desire to wander, experiment, seek advice and find brands that range from marquee to niche.
The new area, which opens Friday, is located on the ground floor, and is adjacent to the makeup, fragrance and lifestyle brands room, which was unveiled in June. The space is mostly white — reflecting a certain clinical professionalism — but it’s also warm, with the feel of an orangery that belongs to a grand house.
There are skylights, 3-D leaves on the walls, and terrazzo floors. Fard handpicked every piece of marble that appears in branded areas at the center of the space. The interiors also took some of their cues from the former Twenties-era Harrods banking hall, including the Palladian columns cast in marble.
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In an interview, Fard described the latest space as “our celebration of everything fabulous in skin care,” with a strong J-beauty element and a “comfortable, approachable shopping experience. There is a lot of space to be able to navigate from brand to brand.”
There are branded areas and small, discreet consultation spaces for names including Natura Bissé, La Mer, Estée Lauder, La Prairie and the J-beauty brand Decorté. Harrods has become the exclusive European launch retailer for Japan’s Clé de Peau Beauté, which also features in the space.
Beauty stalwarts such as Clinique, Clarins, Dr. Sebagh, Perricone MD, Shiseido, Valmont and Chantecaille are located in the center of the room in their own marble-clad stalls. Another area is dedicated to gadgets, with customers urged to play with products from brands including Foreo, NuFace and Panasonic.
A “naturals wall” stocks Tata Harper, Sunday Riley and Wildsmith, another exclusive brand known for its exfoliators, while an “icons wall” showcases a selection of single products chosen by Fard and her team, such as Eve Lom facial cleanser, Rodin oils, Augustinus Bader’s moisturizer and Bioeffect EGF serum.
Fard calls the latter “our edit on what you should have in your skin-care cabinet.”
Asked why there was such a strong focus on J-beauty, Fard said it was not intentional.
“There is so much ‘fabulous’ coming out of Japan, it just happened. The Japanese have always been exceptional in skin care and innovation and rituals around face massage and applying products in a certain way. There is something almost therapeutic about that, while the products, the textures and the benefits are exquisite.”
She said phase one of the new Beauty Halls has exceeded expectations, with consumers relishing the experiential side of shopping.
Clients, she added, have been responding to “the very immersive experience, and are enjoying the glory of the beauty hall. You feel very comfortable, it does not feel very oppressive, it feels airy and open. That’s the feedback we’ve been hearing,” she said.
The third and final phase of the Beauty Halls will open downstairs. There will be rooms for beauty and makeup master classes, treatments and a beauty concierge that aims to offer up independent advice to clients.
“Maybe you want a blow dry, or you’re having a little problem with your skin, or you need some beauty advice, or you want to know the best type of mascara for your lashes. Maybe it’s your wedding, and you need to schedule all of your beauty, from head to toe. They will give advice across everything from wellness to hair and beauty. We have worked really hard to make sure that delivers,” she said.