L’Occitane Flagship, New York
170 5th Ave, New York, NY 1001
Luxury French cosmetics company L’Occitane has brought a touch of the joie de vivre to New York with its Provençal-inspired Flatiron flagship. But while the store may be inspired by the bucolic trappings of the French countryside, it’s firmly positioned in the 21st century.
Provençal looms large, but in a metaphoric, abstracted sense. The store is more about the look and feel of the region than about a faithful recreation. Vivid gold shutters and bold window displays draw the eye from the street. Inside a ‘fountain’ of products greets customers and a colourful ceiling installation redolent of wildflower fields runs the length of the store.
School House has transformed L’Occitane’s Flatiron flagship into a contemporary Provençal marketplace for beauty with some clever application of digital technology.
The space is strategically broken up by degree of immersion – the front section is for those who want to quickly dip into the world of L’Occitane, while the courtyard-like rear is for those with time to devote to their beauty experience.
Marketplace-style boards announce available beauty services, along with currently trending products, and customers can sample products in person or via the touchscreens at the Smart Beauty Fitting Room, a communal table towards the rear of the store with inset touchscreens.
It’s not only the space itself that speaks to Provençal living. The staff have been trained to embody that characteristically French attitude where work and play are one – creating a warm, welcoming environment. Staff consult with customers on window-side benches, while a concierge assists with fragrance engraving and custom gifts.
While digital is part of the experience, the pastoral aesthetic of the store evokes the brand’s French roots in a way that can only be achieved in person.