The fruits of Zaha Hadid Architects’ labour might be typically experienced on a grandiose scale, but in New York, the firm’s design for a travelling retail pop-up is packing just as big of a punch. Il Makiage, a new make-up label, made its global debut last week with the opening of its first physical presence in Manhattan’s Soho district. Armed with a bold typeface and a striking black and white palette, Il Makiage’s graphic identity served as an easy jumping off point for the architectural office to design a nomadic pavilion to match.

Configured out of ribbon-like strips of black and white, the pavilion’s parametric design exudes a seductive rhythm that mirrors the ethos of the brand. Splices in the structure that allow glimpses of the exterior from within (and vice versa) also bring a unique tension to the space. Made from fiberglass reinforced plastic, the structure is comprised of contrasting glossy and matt surfaces – another reference to the label’s packaging design – that merge together, interlaced.

Il Makiage

Blusher, by Il Makiage

‘We were really inspired by the icons of the brand and the packaging, which uses a black and white motif and wraps around the corner [of the boxes] that I thought it was very architectural,’ says Kar-Hwa Ho, the firm’s head of interior architecture. ‘We took those codes and developed this structure for the pavilion.’

To echo the intimacy of putting on make-up, the self-contained structure ensures that the focus is placed on the products and each customer’s personal interaction with Il Makiage’s wares. ‘It’s almost like a carapace, a skeleton that protects you and gives you that kind of intimacy,’ reflects Ho.

The dynamic setting is a well-matched backdrop for Il Makiage’s arsenal of offerings. Five years in the making, with an extensive 800 piece collection that includes a suite of make-up brushes and 50 shades of foundation, along with lip colours, eyeshadows, blush, bronzers, masacaras and more, Il Makiage boasts high performance formulas that have all been developed in-house in Israel. It not only embraces a maximalist attitude but also prides itself on raising the bar for luxury make-up. Rigorously tested with a troupe of professional make-up artists before launching to the public, it’s no surprise that the products are speedily winning fans.

Il Makiage’s mobile pavilion will be in Soho for the next six months, with a second pavilion opening in Manhattan’s Flatiron area slated for mid-summer.