Tom Ford debuts first beauty standalone with tech to the fore

Tom Ford Beauty comes to London

Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford is opening his first standalone beauty store, in London’s Covent Garden today, with the designer-turned-director-turned-entrepreneur saying in an interview that it’s his next step on the way to being a $2bn brand.

The new store is designed using the same modern/minimalist concept as Ford’s recently-opened Manhattan flagship but also has a historic element given the Covent garden location.

And it makes heavy use of technology with a digital scenting table for sampling and educational purposes, augmented reality for virtual lipstick try-on, digital make-up mirrors that can record tutorials, LED screens in the windows making a strong visual impact and “halos of light” used to make the product the focal point.

WWD reported that the 1,400 sq ft space is on two floors and has dedicated rooms for different product categories, also offering services such as tutorials, make-up, male grooming (fast facials, beard trimming, and wet shaves) and VIP appointments in the special VIP/events space.

The company will repeat the store set-up when it opens its second physical space in Malaysia next year as part of its debut in that country, WWD said, although the UK was chosen for the concept’s debut because, along with the US, it’s the biggest market for the brand.

And what a brand it is. Tom Ford Beauty is predicted to reach $1bn in sales before 2019, according to the US trade paper, which said that if it reaches that milestone, it will be a year ahead of schedule following explosive growth in recent periods. The brand reportedly grew over 50% last year due to the success of its Private Blend fragrances and lipstick sales.

The fragrance portfolio was boosted recently by the headline-grabbing launch of Fucking Fabulous, a scent that’s given a starring role in the new store. The $310 product is reported to have exceeded initial sales projections many times over and is set to be the most successful Private Blend launch so far.

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