Aesop was established in 1987 by then an owner of a beauty salon, Dennis Paphitis in quest for superlative beauty products. Defying conventional wisdom in marketing and branding, Aesop has been demonstrating solid performance in establishing its own brand by showing its near-stubbornness in maintaining its taste and uniqueness. Thus the Australian cosmetic brand has set itself apart from other competing cosmetic brands in the midst of fierce competition.
B is back with its sixteenth issue.
We have recently opened our second restaurant in a larger space with a new menu. We put a lot of effort into this restaurant, and a number of people have asked me why a magazine publisher would go to the trouble of opening restaurants. Here are my reasons. First, I’ve long dreamt of realizing my own ideas regarding what a restaurant could be. Second, similar to the motivation behind the creation of a collectable monthly publication like B, I found that there was still an unfilled niche in the Seoul dining scene, even amidst the seemingly endless number of restaurants that already exist. Third, although this sounds very obvious, I’ve always wanted to open a fabulous dining space where people can enjoy healthy dishes at affordable prices. Interior and graphic designers teamed up with chefs, managers, and servers to create a place where interior, food, and experience are all in harmony. I sincerely hope the new restaurant succeeds in proportion to the hard work and dedication that everyone involved has put in.
This issue features the Australian cosmetic brand Aesop. In fact, our new restaurant has its own connection with the cosmetic brand, as we use Aesop’s hand soaps. These products are a little pricey, but we wanted to let our customers know that we have taken great care not to miss even the smallest detail. When we contacted Aesop to request a metal stand that would match the soap, we received a reply that momentarily puzzled us. Before we could purchase the stand, we needed to send some photographs of the area where the product would be placed. Aesop headquarters would then determine whether the chosen area was appropriate for stand. This was a minor incident in the opening of our restaurant, but the lengths that Aesop went to maintain brand standards provided a lot of food for thought.
Simplicity and sensory stimulation are the keywords that describe the Aesop stores I have visited around the globe. The way simple design ideas were used to encompass the entire product range reminded me of MUJI’s strict pragmatism. Everything Aesop does shows a similar dedication to rigor, simplicity and authenticity. The Australian cosmetic company shows a clear vision even though only 2-5% of the population of any given metropolis seems likely to agree with the brand’s lifestyle. When talking about brands, I often find it useful to personify them. To me, Aesop seems like it would be someone who has just the right amount of sophistication and an ability to clearly express the passions that motivate their life. While many other cosmetic brands blindly follow after trends, Aesop confidently insists on the authenticity of its products – products it feels are necessary for the people who understand the brand and the lifestyle it represents.
From time to time, we receive complaints that B is too pricey compared to the content, or that there is little to read. The staff at our first restaurant sometimes received comments that the dishes were overpriced – or even that they were underpriced. There have been a few customers who complained their food was served too slowly, and some customers who asked for more sauce because their food was too bland. Nevertheless, we are now starting a new endeavor with people who we feel can work well together at something we all enjoy. There will be some trials and some errors, but we will always fondly remember those who have given their support to JOH & Company.
All our staff in our shop and our restaurants are standing by, waiting to welcome you,
with passion and sincerity.
Aesop started with an almost obsessive commitment to product quality. Its signature brown bottles resemble lab equipment.
32 Inner Space
Aesop maintains simplicity in its product lines and image. This section takes a brief look at Aesop’s signature products, special items and packaging.
Product Range / Special Items / Visual Communication
38 Signature Stores
Aesop seeks to interact with its customers through its products rather than masking itself with fancy packaging or loud marketing campaigns. Convictions and deeply held beliefs built up over years of commitment to an ideal — these are the secrets to Aesop’s success.
Aesop avoids loud marketing campaigns and advertising. Instead, this Australian cosmetic company infuses its brand’s identity into its stores. No two of its 60 stores worldwide are the same.
This section delves into the tastes and preferences of Aesop users.
Aesop products can be found in a number of restaurants, as well as select shops and cafés. The places introduced in this section are as distinct as Aesop itself.
85 B’s Cut
We asked a number of Aesop users which items they chose because of brand image and which they chose for function.
Image / Features
81 Brand Story
Aesop’s branding ideas and image are what separate it from competitors. This section takes a closer look at the brand’s presence.
Aesop began in a small hair salon in Australia. Dedication and pragmatism have built it into a well-balanced brand. This section reveals some of the untold stories behind Aesop.
- Suyoung Joh
- Editor In Chief
- Taehyuck Choi
- Art Director
- Chiho Ghim
- Deputy Editorial Director
- Eunsung Park
- Heather Yoo
- Styling Editor
- Insung Yoo
- Guest Editors
- Boram Yang, Eunah Kim, Hyun Son, Seungchul Yang, Sojung Jung, Yearim Kim
- Hyeyoung Lee, Nari Park(U.K), Eaji Lee(JAPAN), Sungjoo Kim(GERMANY)
- Hyekyung Shin
- Imbum Jang, Junghoon Woo, Juyeon Lee, Rama, Sarah Roesink, Sunghoon Park, Woosung Yang, Wooyoung Chung
- Onedoe Jung
- Gieun Lee, Hyunkyung Yoo, Jeanhee Ha, Rancy Kim, Soonok Hwang
- Copy Editing
- Eugene Larsen-Hallok, Heather Yoo, Joyce Paek, Yearim Kim
- Taewook You
- Hyungjin Choi
- JOH & Company
- Top Process
- 978-89-98415-21-1 03050
- Aesop’s social networking website accounts
- twitter.com/aesopskincare, twitter.com/AesopAssistance
- Women’s Wear Daily, a daily newspaper on fashion & Nowness, an online fashion magazine
- www.wwd.com, www.nowness.com
- Official webpage and Facebook page of a Brazilian cosmetic company, Natura
- www.natura.net/br, www.facebook.com/naturanet
- Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me