As WORLD turns 25 years, and much attention is paid to the historic archives of images depicting fashion shows by WORLD as it was on those now iconic moments that WORLD built its reputation, but we are also compelled to look back at the history of WORLD Beauty. The WORLD Beauty Store concept is now over 7 years old, but the WORLD Beautyb Stores really wasn't the beginning of WORLD Beauty's story. Ever since the first WORLD retail space was opened in 1989, the 'concept store' identity has been obvious, there has never been just one theme or product line. The mantra of a WORLD store is that it houses all of the beautiful ideas that WORLD loves - garments are designed, brands are sourced and objects are displayed according to WORLD's personality...'by what we love'.
Before WORLD Beauty Store's, WORLD started relationships with brands like Aesop from Melbourne and Claus Porto from Portugal both of which are still integral parts of the unique collections. However, prior to WORLD Beauty Store first opening its doors on Vulcan Lane in Auckland, WORLD housed fragrances little know in New Zealand during the 90's such as Dolce & Gabbana, Issey Miyake and Paul Smith - surely household names now, but 20 years ago they represented a new way of niche fragrance and WORLD brought them to New Zealand...in a way bringing the the WORLD to NZ!
The product mix at WORLD Beauty has always been a little hard to describe as it exists as an ever moving set of rules defined by WORLD's Creative Director, Francis Hooper. However, to give broad strokes there are certain areas where WORLD Beauty Stores have set themselves apart and created a refreshing retail atmosphere within New Zealand.
The curating of niche and artistic beauty brands has been a passionate journey, beginning and spearheaded with Aesop a long term partner who was established in Melbourne in 1987 with a quest to create a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body. Aesop are committed to using both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy – particularly those with the greatest anti-oxidant properties. They value, as WORLD does, all human endeavours undertaken with intellectual rigour, vision, and a nod to the whimsical. Every Aesop product is made with the same attention to detail that they believe should be applied to life at large, taking into consideration a diversity of needs as well as seasonal and environmental conditions, and for over 15 years WORLD has trumpeted this extraordinary antipodean brand as if it was their own, such is the passion.
Telling the story of fragrance has been an essential practice throughout WORLD Beauty's evolution. Having made sure to include scents such as 4711 - the original cologne, as well as nostalgic favourites L'Air du Temp by Nina Ricci, Arpege by Lanvin, Joy by Jean Patou, Cabochard by Madame Gres, Billet Doux by Fragonard, Madame Rochas by Rochas, Fracas by Robert Piguet as well as the historic Guerlain collection which includes Jicky, Mitsouko, Shalimar and Samsara. This beginning, within the cultured past of fragrance, is imperative in the understanding of personal scent and WORLD Beauty has challenged itself to educate customers to the full enjoyment that fragrance can bring, and take those inquisitive souls on a personal journey. Part of this journey is WORLD's endless search for new and exquisite collections and perfumers, some of which being known in niche circles for a time like L'Artisan Perfumuer of France or Amouage from Oman. However some are new and rambunctious spirits in the world of perfume, for example Arquiste, Nasomatto, Keiko Mercheri, Juilette has a Gun, Naomi Goodsir or Olfactive Studio. These Luxury producers serve to present a body of fragrance knowledge and opportunity to the curious and refined.
The selection of historic and revered beauty brands, such as Maison Cire Trudon - who since 1643 have made the world's finest candles, for the great Cathedrals of France, Versailles Royal Court, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon - is a particularly significant juxtaposition within WORLD Beauty's contemporary setting. Not unlike the house of Creed who has been privately producing fragrance since 1760 for some of histories most impressive and confounding personalities such as Napoleon III, Winstone Churchill, JFK, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy amongst many more. This collision of immense history with genuine luxury is an honour that WORLD Beauty protects and promotes with New Zealand. Francis Hooper's ongoing collaboration and work with Meredith Lee of European Antiques and Furnishing ( an Auckland based Antique importer ), is a source of what gives WORLD Beauty its aesthetic reverence. The combination of expertly selected antique pieces and the genius by which they are merchandised gives WORLD Beauty Stores an aura like no other retail environment where the onus is to open ones mind and appreciate such vibrant and eccentric luxury.
Around these signposts of luxury WORLD Beauty includes a universe of everyday luxuries that accompany their more prestigious companions. From - little known books to gorgeously packaged toothpaste, handmade dolls by Sandro Girard to collectables by Ottmar Horl or Damian Hirst, wax sculpture candles to neon lights - WORLD Beauty is a veritable treasure trove for any and every curious nature. In its eight year (but really its 25th) WORLD Beauty continues to evolve and communicate to a wider audience of people looking to indulge and include in their life a more thoughtful and luxurious collection of beauty ideas.