Neu: Aesop in Köln

Zur Eröffnung der 3. deutschen Aesop-Boutique war ich in Köln und war so gespannt, was sich die Australier dieses Mal einfallen haben lassen. Der Laden ist, wie immer, einzigartig und versprüht einen ganz besonderen Charme, der durch das sanfte Licht, das sanfte Senfgelb der Tapeten und die Masse an Aesop Produkten entsteht. Ich streife durch die Reihen und sehe altbekannte Favoriten und begegne neuen Produkten, die ich sofort teste. Am Waschbecken bekomme ich, auf meinen Wunsch hin, eine kleine Einführung in die Parsley Seed Reihe, die ich bis dato nur vom Hören-Sagen kannte. Die hochgelobte Parsley-Seed Mask muss danach sofort ins Einkaufskörbchen, es folgt das Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol (Feuchtigkeit zum Ausprühen)und das Ginger Flight Therapy (beruhigt bei Stress und beim Fliegen), die Wochen später schnell zu meinen absoluten Reise-Lieblingen werden. Aber nicht nur meine Einkaufstasche wird voller, auch meine Wunschliste: die Post Poo Drops lassen die meisten Kunden sofort kichern und reizen mich – funktioniert es wirklich?

Der Shop selbst ist in einem ganz besonderem Haus in der Pfeilstraße 45 untergebracht, das lange leer stand. Das schmale Gebäude gehörte lang einem alten Ehepaar, das einst im Erdgeschoss ein Juwelier-Geschäft führte und in den oberen 3 Etagen wohnte. Als er starb, wollte sie nicht verkaufen und verkleidete den Verkaufsraum im Erdgeschoss komplett aus. ‚Ich verkaufe nicht!‘ konnten jahrelang viele Kölner an der Innenscheibe kleben sehen – bis zu ihrem Tod, der das Haus frei gab und wieder mit neuem Leben füllte. Kommt man heute von der Wendeltreppe in den 1. Stock, begreift man sofort, um welches architektonisches Juwel es sich hier handelt und wie besonders es geschnitten ist. Im obersten Stockwerk, noch nach dem Aesop-Office für Deutschland, befindet sich der Meetingraum, der so liebevoll dekoriert und renoviert wurde, dass man lange verweilen möchte. Das große Fenster ist ein Unikat und das i-Tüpfelchen an diesem Haus, das als HOUSE OF AESOP besser nicht passen konnte. Für den Retro-Touch und diese umwerfende Verwandlung ist das Architekten-Team Weiss-Heiten aus Berlin verantwortlich, die auch gerne meine Wohnung mal umkrempeln dürften. Man fühlt sich einfach sofort wohl und ich genieße die warme Atmosphäre, während ich den Aesop-Tee trinken, den es leider immer noch nicht zu kaufen gibt.

Ich hatte in Köln die schöne die Gelegenheit, Pascale Thouzery, Head of Marketing bei Aesop, während der Shop-Eröffnung zu interviewen. Es war mehr ein Gespräch unter Beauty-Liebhabern und ich konnte ihre Leidenschaft für die Marke und ihren Job in jeder Minute fühlen. Interview im Original (Englisch):

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THE INTERVIEW

with Pascale Thouzery, Head of Marketing / Aesop

 

First, talking about this house & architecture!

Pascale: The founder of the company in an aesthete, someone who cares about everything and the beauty in all stuff. He is the kind of man, who can go crazy about the smallest details invisible to most of us.

He is aware of all the new stores and participates in the brief given to the architects. When we decided to open a store in Cologne, he came and looked at the house, visited the city, and understood how close this city is to art galleries. So he decided to reflect the gallery into the store. This is how the idea of the linen canvas on the walls and furniture began. The building itself was renovated by the architects Weiss-heiten in keeping with the 1950’s original structure with the addition of the furniture from the same period. Key pieces like the giant window on the fourth floor needed to be kept because it’s too unique.

 

Talking about: cosmetics

Hanna: I have so many comments about Aesop. Some are uncertain about the non-organic fact, some are wondering: what really is inside? And some girls are completely against this brand, what can I tell those girls?

Pascale: It is true, it is not 100% organic. I think there will be people that you can’t persuade to use Aesop – for example, when they just want to use 100% organic ingredients. We use a lot of organic ingredients, but we mix them with some non organic ones as well as man-made ingredients to make sure that the products perform at their best. So if the performance is not the point those women are looking for, you won’t persuade them to try something else.

With every new product we start from scratch. We don’t buy any existing formulas and add something to make it our own. We always start from 0. We start with the question: what do we want from this specific cream? What is the difference that we want? How is the application going to be? Will it be a serum, an oil or a cream? – It takes us (at least) 2 years to develop a new product. The one that has taken us the longest so far, Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF15 was developed over 10 years. It really depends on many factors. We always look at new ingredients, what this texture is about and what it does to the skin. We research all those details for our customers, so we have a list of ingredients that we are comfortable to use. But there is also a no go list. The idea is to avoid all ingredients that have a negative effect on the skin. Many brands are happy to include silicones in their formulas for instance to give a light and soft aspect to their products, however, we believe, that the skin can’t breathe with a layer of silicone.

Our products are 100% vegan. Even the lip balm is made without beeswax.

 

What is the Aesop must have product? Where should you start when you want to discover Aesop?

Pascale: Skincare! We have focused on this range for more than ten years now and released great products. I would recommend finding the right skincare product for you and starting with a face cleanser that suits you. Our staff will help you find the best product for you. But please tell us, if you like it within the first minutes or not. It is so much easier to find another suitable product for you, when we know, that you don’t like the texture or the scent for instance. If you don’t like our heavy cream for dry skin, maybe the nourishing skin oil is a better option. Do not hesitate to try many of our products at the store’s sink before electing your favourite routine.

They can also be tried at home with our sachet samples as we know that a customer who tried a cream for a few days will be more confident to purchase it and will use it with pleasure till the end of the jar.

 

What would be the perfect AESOP gift to give my best friend?

That is always tricky. You can buy skincare if you know his or her skin type. Or you can choose one of our gift sets as they include products selected to suit most skin types. Every year, on Nov 1st, we launch a new range of 6 gift sets. The theme is not around Christmas but treats subjects that we believe our customers will be interested in – two years ago, we had endangered bird species, last year we developed the artistic Futurism theme, and this year we focus on the artisans and the materials that they transform. The boxes are available in different prices to suit any budget. And if you don’t want to take any risk, the body care sets are always an easy choice for a gift.

 

What else to know about the company?

I think Aesop is a lot about passion and in every store and in our offices, everyone who works there has a passion for something. It is also about treating everything that we do with intelligence, being our products formulations, the design of our stores, the service to our customers and the communication with them. We opened our first store in Europe in 2006 in Paris, then opened in London two years later, we are now pleased to offer the same environment to our German customers in Cologne.

 

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