The Korean Beauty wave—also known as K-Beauty—has crashed upon the shores of the cosmetic and skincare world with no signs of ebbing. For Sulwhasoo, one of South Korea's biggest and most popular global brands, establishing a unique and experiential physical presence in Seoul was vital.
For its new flagship store, the brand's first standalone retail space, Sulwhasoo called up Shanghai-based practice Neri & Hu to outfit a renovated five-story contemporary building in the fashionable Gangnam district. The store's defining feature is the lantern-inspired lattice work of thin brass filaments that figure throughout the space like a floating matrix of wire grids.
The cage-like structures line the walls and hover overhead, dividing the otherwise spare wood-, stone-, and brick-laid space into distinct areas. The three-dimensional effect of the brass cage envelopes and guides the customer through the seemingly infinite store. As the customer moves from the basement spa lined in dark brick to the main retail space, and then to the rooftop terrace, the space appears to lighten and open up, creating a truly immersive retail experience.
Products are artfully arranged and illuminated by lights and mirrors. Furniture by Stellar Works, Carl Hansen, and Arne Jacobsen populate the store, while pieces by Gandia Blasco dot the outdoor space.