May 08, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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What do you get when you put an esteemed literary magazine together with a refined hair, body and skincare brand? The genius that is the new Aesop store in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood.
The beauty-literature collaboration came about when The Paris Review editor Lorin Stein and Aesop founder Dennis Paphitis (a long-time fan of the publication) met after years of mutual admiration. The result is a new storefront “founded on friendship and steeped in literature.”
“Since The Paris Review was founded sixty years ago, our only aim has been to discover what is new and best in literature. We’ve followed our own instincts, however whimsical they seemed to others,” says Stein. “The team at Aesop is full of that same spirit. I believe the idea for a Paris Review-themed store came to Dennis while we were walking down 27th Street – by the end of the block, it was a plan. We are honored to be associated with a company so well known for excellence, for enlightened practices, and – it must be said – for ointments that make complete strangers want to smell your face.”
The brand is known for creating impressive and architectural spaces for its global stores. At the Chelsea location, a floating, sculptural ceiling of The Paris Review (created with more than 1,000 back issues of the publication) and posted on the walls of the 400-square-foot space are old photographs, letters and other ephemera from its beginnings as far back as 1953 that gives customers a peek at the history behind the magazine: A quarterly publication that helped anthologize exclusive interviews from literary greats like Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion, Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan, and Lorrie Moore. It’s considered “one of the single most persistent acts of cultural conservation in the history of the world.” The store sits just a few blocks away from The Paris Review’s New York office (544 W 27th St.)
“I first discovered the The Paris Review in a vintage Melbourne bookstore many years ago and became clinically addicted upon reading the twelfth issue, published in 1956, which featured Jean Stein’s interview with William Faulkner,” says
Paphitis. “I have since that time tried diligently to read every issue in a sober state.”
Melbourne-based brand Aesop was founded in 1987 and since it has been a top brand focused on quality formulations for the skin and hair with premium plant-based products and refined packaging.
Aesop Chelsea, 174 Ninth Avenue, New York City, NY 10011, 212-929-7838, aesop.com
— Glynnis Mapp, Stylesight Beauty Editor
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