The first Aesop store in Vienna is opening this week. We talked with Thomas Buisson, General Manager in Europe about the new location and brand’s sources of inspiration, coming from local art and architecture.
Aesop & the City
Aesop Bauernmarkt was created by the in-house Design Department, also responsible for many other projects such as stores in Berlin, Paris, Lausanne, Stockholm, etc. Although the stores are different, our main objective is always the same: to impart the feeling that an Aesop store has always been part of the street, that it belongs to the city and the neighbourhood. It is conveyed for instance by the use of local materials that are part of the local references and that will feel familiar to our clients and will provoke an emotional attachment.
For example, Vienna stroke us as being a refined city with an elegance anchored in its genes. When wandering in the streets, we found that most of the stores were elegant with a design influenced by the early 20th century architecture. Our 32 square meter space has a beautiful façade with large rounded windows, so evocative of the Art Deco greenhouses that we have kept and brought to life with a profusion of plants. The store becomes almost a parenthesis to another world, evocating decades past and suggesting a sophisticated Viennese gentleman’s haunt.
Aesop & Inspiration
We explore and support the arts as an avenue through which to inspire, learn and communicate. Aesop partners with selected art events across the world such as Art Cologne or Frieze, viennacontemporary as well as with interesting museums and galleries.
As this is the first store in Austria, it was a pleasure to draw inspiration from artists whom we admire. The nearby American Bar designed by Adolf Loos influenced our choice to use wood for the floor and to surround the space with wooden panels that bring the high ceiling proportions to more human dimensions. Our sink’s legs and elongated shape was also largely inspired by the bar’s tables. From Oskar Kokoschka, we took the somber and profound colours of the wooden panels and walls’ paint. And Joseph Hoffmann was our inspiration for the seating area with an inviting curvaceous wooden back that effects warmth.
Moreover, the Read section on our website spans an array of subjects from everything that makes Aesop what we are to what inspires us. The Fabulist is our literary journal, almost a follow-up to our monthly newsletter, The Ledger. We commission writers to create fiction and non-fiction works that we enjoy reading and sharing with our followers. A literary gesture born of the enjoyment and intellectual nourishment that we derive through the written word.
Aesop Vienna, Bauermarkt 2A, 1010 Vienna