The internet continues to change the ways in which we interact with the world, including our shopping experiences. But while many of us enjoy leisurely perusing online shops for certain items, sometimes, there’s just no substitute for seeing and feeling the goods in a physical space.
Millennials shop online more often than any other generation, but they’re not ready to part with brick and mortar stores just yet. In fact, there seems to be a resurgence of interest in shopping in-person, albeit in a different way than our parents and grandparents did.
Villa de mûrir, the flagship store of beauty curation brand mûrir located in Seoul, South Korea, is a great example of how some retailers are responding to this trend. Designed by architecture and interior design firm Collective B, the shop aims to provide a new kind of retail experience catering to an array of Millennial desires: in-person product testing, immersion in the brand’s ethos and aesthetics, and intimate, personalized service.
The firm’s goal was to communicate the brand’s identity and offer shoppers a place to relax, forget about the outside world for a while, and interact with the products. The store features four programmatic sections divided on two separate floors but arranged in a way that allows you to take in most of the shop as a whole from any perspective.
“In the entrance area, the ceiling installation of mûrir free circle objects and leaf-shaped objects bridges the 15 meter long distance between the street and the actual retail space and stimulates curiosity about the beauty curation brand’s venue,” says Collective B. “After passing this entrance area, the Open Studio with transparent windows allows an insight into the creation process of makeup content.”
The Beauty Select Shop displays a selection of mûrir products alongside curated items from other brands, while the Makeup Shop offers five makeup treatments developed by the company. The Open Studio is designed with so-called “BeauTubers” in mind, i.e. YouTube personalities who experiment with beauty products on their channels, offering a production studio with beautiful lighting and backdrops. Finally, The Cafe is a place to socialize, stream live videos to social media or just hang out and try the products you just purchased.
The world mûrir means “to ripen” in French. For Collective B, illustrating this idea visually was a crucial design strategy, from the colors the firm chose to the shapes and symbolism seen throughout the space. The designers wanted the shop to evoke blooming flowers, ripening fruits, growth, and abundance. The designers also made significant use of “Millennial Pink.”
The color pink symbolizes the beauty of fruits and flowers in full bloom,” says Collective B. “Matching different usage scenarios, mûrir pink was used in three different tones. Baby pink was used in the Makeup Shop in order to reduce the effects of luminance. Peach pink was applied in the Beauty Select Shop to make the green mûrir products stand out as much as possible. The brightest of the three pink tones, coral pink, was used in the Cafe with its rich colors.”