London has long been calling Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, and now the duo behind the iconic apothecary brand Malin+Goetz have answered that call twice over, opening not one but two stores within a week of each other: one in Islington, the other in Covent Garden's Seven Dials.
'We've always had a UK presence,' clarifies Malin, recounting how, when they launched 12 years ago, they had their own store, their own US e-commerce site, Barneys nationally between New York and Los Angeles and – their sole international outpost at the time – Liberty in London. Six years later Space NK came along, with their Islington location consistently ranking as their most successful selling point in the British Isles. Opening up their own brick-and-mortar location seemed like a natural progression for Malin+Goetz. 'When you think about it, Islington feels very similar to our roots,' says Malin, 'our customer tends to skew younger, affluent, certainly is fashion-forward and hits the profile [of Upper Street] pretty perfectly.'
True to their tried and tested style (the London stores are their seventh and eighth standalone stores), the skincare brand has created two spaces that cleverly reflect their respective locations and historic heritage. Behind the distinct architectural design of the retail outlets was Jonathan Tuckey and his multidisciplinary firm.
Known for his sensitive interventions, Jonathan Tuckey's team took a Victorian building in the heart of Islington and gave it a modern interpretation with warmth and texture. Period curved glass and an Irish green racing coloured fascia at the shopfront keep the store in tune with its surroundings while inside a mass timber shelving unit undulates across the walls, cleverly replicating the mullions from the entrance.
'Islington feels very tradition in that sense,' offers Goetz as he describes the entryway and the character of the building, 'and then you walk in and you have a very modern experience.' The antique apothecary counter really is the cherry on top.
Monmouth Street was 'a little random,' admits Goetz, but when the duo saw the location they knew they had to take it.
Less traditional than Islington, the Seven Dials locale has a definite Japanese purity to it – the clean lines of the reflective ceiling, the brass fittings, paper shelving and timber background – mixed in with a dash of West End drama. The entrance has pitch-black, crushed velvet walls that lead you into the light of the store and it feels like you are walking onto a stage, with the bright store – lit by Vasiliki Malakasi's lighting design – unfolding before you. The stage-like shopfront, or 'a large-scale retail television' as they call it, displays a minimal array of products, allowing for unadulterated views of the interior.
The opening of these retail temples also coincides with the launch of Malin+Goetz's UK e-commerce site, making their full range of products available across the country. Malin+Goetz are ready to take over Britain, and we couldn't be happier.