Surface - A new solution
If an iconic skincare line and an internationally respected furniture manufacturer could produce offspring, it might well be Malin+Goetz. The brainchild of Kiehl's alumnus Matthew Malin and Vitra veteran Andrew Goetz, the Manhattan-based company mixes luxurious products with top-flight packaging and retail interiors.
The pair's New York City shop showcases modern looking products in an atmosphere that evokes the image of the traditional pharmacy. "Andrew and I have always discussed having our own community store, something that combined his world of design with mine of cosmetics," says Malin. 'We wanted something modern but similar in feel to the history of service found in European apothecaries with unique specialty products and we always wanted to do skincare for men and women as an extension of a lifestyle."
Design inspiration came from the couple's travels and old-world icons (European pharmacies, their standard neon "plus" signs, and nofrill chemist labels) and modern sensibilities (minimalist bottles). Malin and Goetz enlisted designers at the Manhattan firm 2x4 to integrate these symbols into their brand identity (see the plus-centric Malin+Goetz). The sleek, unisex vibe of the packaging is appropriate for global nomad types with limited shelf and luggage space.
Malin and Goetz focused similar attention on the store's interiors. The entrance is made of glacier-white Corian, providing a clean canvas that sets off the products' simple color code red (hair), blue (skin), and brown (body). Architect Craig Konyk divided the space using a translucent screen that permits voyeurs to view the not-so-glamorous parts of the business - packaging, storage, sampling, and meetings in progress.
The final details are equally innovative and fresh for example, products are displayed cradled in shredded design magazines. When asked which magazines made the "cut," Goetz grinned mischievously and confessed that there is a "pecking order" for which magazines hit the shredder. He just won't reveal what they are - except for one. Surface is honored to be included.
images: CHARLES MASTERS