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15 Nov 2019

Get a look inside skincare brand Aesop in its new book

Words by  Photo by Yukata Yamamoto

Aesop, the enigmatic skincare superband, has unveiled Aesop: the book which gives us a glimpse behind the scenes

Established in 1987, Aesop's beginnings might be firmly rooted in Melbourne, but the globally renowned skincare behemoth has now made the world its canvas. 

This year, the firm is in its thirty-third year, and to mark the occasion, it has unveiled its first publication titled Aesop: The Book, a chronicle of the skincare company's first three decades. The 336-page tome, co-authored by founder Dennis Paphitis, is part photo essay, part vignette, and a tribute to those who have contributed to and collaborated with the company over the years. 

Having maintained a distinctive aesthetic consistency in every aspect of its workings, from the rows of amber glass bottles to the minimalist labels embellishing the firm's utilitarian containers, Aesop's meticulous attention to detail has become the brand's recipe for skincare glory.

AesopAesop's minimalist labels demonstrate the company's aesthetic consistency over the years

The new book, which compiles stories from architects and artists who have worked with the Australian skincare brand in over twenty regions around the world, features recollections of the formative days of Dennis Paphitis's hair salon and the first Melbourne store, tracing how and when Aesop's distinct approach to retail hospitality and its formulations were conceived.

Combined with beautiful images by celebrated Japanese photographer Yutaka Yamamoto, the edition features photographs of the company's most beautiful spaces from around the world, including the iconic Rome boutique, designed by film director Luca Guadagnino, and Aesop's signature Tokyo store, realised in collaboration with the SIMPLICITY team, under the leadership of Shinichiro Ogata.

"We wanted to tell something of our story in our thirty-third year. Pause and reflection matter," says Aesop founder Dennis Paphitis. The writing process, he reflects, was "raw—particularly in relation to what we omit, what we retain, what we choose to celebrate. The book is not intended as a detailed overview, but a selection of some of the stories and people who have contributed to Aesop."

Aesop Store TokyoAesop Store Tokyo was realised in collaboration with SIMPLICITY, under the leadership of Shinichiro Ogata

Readers can leaf through Aesop to discover how the skincare brand has built its iconic universe of superlative products and experiences. From the cohesion of the brand through to early packaging, iconography, and campaigns, without neglecting the more imperceptible codes that serve to unite its stores around the world, the firm's first heavyweight presents an impressionistic view of the principles and lessons that govern the company's unparalleled approach to retail architecture, product design, hospitality and beyond. 

"It’s been a true pleasure to work with this dedicated editorial team to blow the dust off our archives and to present the founding gestures that have guided the company to its current position", adds Marsha Meredith, creative director. 

Dedicated to capturing Aesop's essence of "arguing the wisdom and intelligence of doing things well, doing them differently, and doing them for the long term", as the book's publisher Rizzoli New York declared, the brand's debut volume not only documents the vision and ethos fom which Aesop was borne, but more specifically, how those specific set of values have come to be the very heart and soul of it all.

AESOP STORE ROME LUCA GUADAGNINOThe Rome store was designed by Luca Guadagnino

Aesop, by Dennis Paphitis, £57, published by Rizzoli New York.

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