This story first appeared in the October 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Hourglass founder and chief executive officer Carisa Janes considers the brand’s new 1,400-square-foot store as a laboratory to try edgy concepts, such as makeup artists using Google Glass to record makeup sessions. It will also be home to Hourglass’ first skin-care product, Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum. At $350, the serum is around $280 more than Hourglass’ next-most expensive product, and its aim—to regulate skin-cell differentiation—isn’t the sexiest pitch in the skin-care biz. “With the opening of the store, I was able to do something very unique because I didn’t have to make large batches,” explains Janes. She’s candid about having no idea how skin care will perform saleswise. And that’s the point of having a store: Hourglass can dream up products that don’t have to meet exacting sales targets. “It is not just about having a store for the sake of it. It is to test, to engage and to create amazing services and products for our customers,” says Janes. 1351 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Howard Murad has long been an evangelist of inclusive health, a message that comes through loud and clear at his brand’s new 1,500-square-foot flagship. Murad’s holistic viewpoint is communicated immediately with a five-minute skin-health analysis. For customers who want a more rigorous analysis, there’s YouthCam Evaluations using a high-definition camera with proprietary software to measure lines and wrinkles, age spots and inflammation. Ruth Madeja, director of global retail marketing, emphasizes the multiplicity of technologies—including an interactive hero wall that runs informational videos about products when they are picked up—is to answer customers’ concerns personally. “People want to know how this caters to my needs,” she says. For Murad, inclusive health goes beyond products. A digital art wall allows customers to create their own masterpieces, reflecting his desire that customers can relieve the stresses of modern life. 8207A West 3rd St.
Wende Zomnir’s dream of opening a store for her brand, Urban Decay, has become a reality, thanks to the largesse of parent company L’Oréal, which bought Urban in late 2012. “Retail is always something that you think about because it allows you to show the full expression of the brand. Of course, we kicked it around, but we are kind of realists,” says Zomnir, chief creative officer and founding partner. One of L’Oréal’s principal missions for the brand—expanding internationally—gave Urban Decay a strong impetus to develop a retail format that could spread globally. Set to open in November, the 1,000-square-foot store will feature a 100-inch nickel chandelier, six makeup stations, a coffee bar, an interactive photo booth and a so-called “dude station” where guys can hang out. “The store sets the pace, and speaks to what stores will look like everywhere,” says Tim Warner, chief executive, who notes that London is slated for store number two. 401 Newport Center Dr.