Millennial pink tile contrasts against neutral-toned plaster. An enormous fake rock sits in the middle of the space, covered in fake moss and decorated with giant fake mushrooms. Lightboxes on the ceiling cast a flattering PNW-inspired gray light. Shiny products rest on wavy tables in front of wall-sized mirrors. The sounds of nature filter in between a Glossier-approved but region-specific playlist. There are stacks of cushy, lichen-colored pads for bored boyfriends or partners to zone out on.
This is what the mega-popular New York-based e-commerce brand thinks Seattleites will like. And they might be right.
Glossier just uploaded their largest "offline experience" here in Seattle, taking up residence only a few blocks away from the site of their 2019 pop-up, in the former Aveda Institute location. Opening on Friday, August 20, visitors will have the chance to float through the 6,200-square-foot space, rub goop on their faces, try out the complete product line on the backs of their hands, and obviously take selfies.
For this brick-and-mortar location, the direct-to-consumer company's creative team says they looked at our soggy corner of the country through "Glossier-colored glasses," blending our moss-laden, tech-forward style with the beauty brand's aspirational sensibility.
"In Seattle, a city of forests and lakes, our store design plays with the juxtaposition of nature and technology," wrote Glossier's CEO and founder Emily Weiss in a blog post announcing the development of several permanent locations.
The company has a penchant for mirroring the locales and desires of the places they physically manifest. In Austin, their temporary store had a "roadside attraction" theme, with giant inflatable Generation G lipstick tubes on top of the building. In London, the company took inspiration from British social clubs, covering the space in bright floral wallpaper. Even at their 2019 Seattle pop-up, you could wait for upwards of an hour to buy lipgloss from a store decorated with dewy, breathing plants.
With this new permanent store, Glossier is similarly weaving local culture into their marketing. They are partnering with Molly Moon's Ice Cream for a "bespoke Glossier flavor," their rep wrote to me, which Molly Moon's will sell across the street at their Capitol Hill location during the first month the Glossier store is open. Shoppers can also purchase Seattle-exclusive merch, with some proceeds going toward the local non-profit Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority.
Walking through the space last week, I had a distinct feeling of being inside an immersive art installation that had crash-landed from New York onto Seattle. Although a bit disorienting, the store's mossy guts and cute lipgloss vials are likely strange enough to capture even a non-Instagram user's interest. We’re living in a moment when people crave these "offline experiences"—à la Van Gogh—and Glossier seems poised to cash in.
Glossier's Seattle location will officially open on Friday, August 20, from 11 AM-7 PM. Get more information here.