Space NK Fillmore

Space NK has come to the City by the Bay.

The beauty destination has had a tangential presence in San Francisco for a few years — including outposts in nearby Marin and Palo Alto in addition to shops-in-shop in Bloomingdale’s. But this week heralded the first freestanding San Francisco store for the luxury beauty retailer. And the journey, says Space NK managing director Noah Rosenblatt, was more than a year a half in the making.

The 1,134-square-foot space occupies a highly desirable corner in the city’s tony Fillmore District at 2000 Fillmore Street. It’s a shopping district where both in-the-know locals and cosmopolitan international travelers come for beauty brands including Kiehl’s, Le Labo, Nars, Jurlique, L’Occitane and MAC, in what that has become a beauty row of sorts. Those are in addition to stores such as Marc Jacobs and Rag & Bone.

The trick, as those who’ve already managed to claim a spot well know, is appealing to the various local community organizations who are weary of development by brands that are perceived as chains. To that end, this location of Space NK is only the eighth stand-alone store in the U.S. That doesn’t include the London brand’s international locations, of which there are 82.

The new space called for a significant remodel, including removal of awnings to let in more light, a new approach to lighting, and an aesthetic that is evocative of a modern apothecary, Rosenblatt said. It also welcomes two new brands that are unique to the San Francisco location — fragrance brand Byredo and the cosmetics line of makeup artist Troy Surratt, Surratt Beauty. Those join 70 more beauty, wellness, skin-care and hair-care lines; highlights include Oribe, Kevyn Aucoin, Malin + Goetz, Lipstick Queen and more.

Just outside, Space NK commissioned San Francisco artist Ricardo Richey, known as Apexer, to create a mural on the exterior wall. It’s the first in a series of murals, called #ArtonPine, that will be updated seasonally.

A relieved Rosenblatt, who toasted to the opening with local patrons on Thursday night, said the store reflected a more “contemporary design” that was still in sync with the 23-year-old brand. “The aesthetic is elevated without deviating from our vision of a service-focused, luxury shopping experience.”

Space NK will also host opening events through September with founders and experts such a Kimiko Beauty creator Danielle Vincent and Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King.