South Korean cosmetics brand eSpoir has made a splash with its new concept store in Gangnam – Seoul, South Korea’s posh shopping district, favored by youthful trendsetters for its global brands. Owned by AmorePacific Corp. (Seoul, South Korea), the company espouses the tagline, “The Power of Transformation,” an idea channeled by Alta Architecture P.C. (New York) into the retailer’s brand reinvention. The newly designed flagship fuses catwalk couture and backstage makeup artist stations with the aesthetic of the nation’s stylized, audio/visual-driven K-pop stars.
“Working closely with eSpoir’s brand marketing team, we developed a streamlined, 360-degree store design geared toward fashion-forward, youthful, digitally savvy and value-oriented consumers,” explains Natalie S.W. Cheng, founder, Alta. “The Gagnam shop integrates the look and feel of eSpoir’s updated online store, new packaging, revamped video content and [social media] presence to create a unified 3-D environment and shopping experience.”
Also required were adaptable lighting and fixture configurations for future rollouts across South Korea, and an easily navigable floorplan with image-led signage to entice customers to test the brand’s extensive product range and in-store makeup and eyebrow services.
Establishing symmetry within the 807-square-foot space, an illuminated central catwalk leads to a floor-to-ceiling LED screen featuring campaigns filmed using sassy K-pop bravado to lure shoppers inside. Concrete-look walls, exposed ductwork, timber-effect porcelain floors and a ceiling truss with spotlights suggest an industrial urban loft, and the store’s neutral color palette lets the makeup’s vibrant spectrum take center stage.
A modular system of black pipes enables flexible configuration of merchandising zones: Hanging, wall-mounted fixtures and rolling tables were fitted with adjustable magnetic graphics boards, and plentiful storage and strategically placed mirrors expand spatial perception as shoppers experiment with products in natural light and catch a glance of their makeovers upon exit.
eSpoir, Seoul, South Korea: Misun Jo, Nari Kim, Jisun Yang.
AmorePacific Corp., Seoul, South Korea
Design and Architecture
Alta Architecture P.C., New York: Natalie Cheng (project leader), Simona Regolo, Colleen Tuite.
Provenza Porcelain Tile
Custom graphics on magnetic board
Wallcoverings and Materials
Custom-applied plaster wall finish
Custom, Holleander Speedrail/Retail Solutions
Joseph Corsi, Nam Tran
Project Management & Construction
Betwin Space Design Co. Ltd., Seoul, South Korea
Photography: Courtesy eSpoir (LK World), Seoul, South Korea; Natalie Cheng, New York