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On October 14, La Prairie debuted its new boutique within Bloomingdale’s 59th Street in New York. The store offers a sleek interpretation of Swissness—translating the natural beauty of Switzerland into a modern, minimalist space. The layout is open, bright, and inviting, with accents of grey, steel, and the signature La Prairie-blue. The experience-driven concept offers customers a variety of entry-points to consult, try, and test the skincare products. The layout has more in common with a jewelry or watch boutique than your typical beauty counter, a parallel further affirmed by its private room for facial treatments.
To learn more about how La Prairie is setting itself apart from other beauty purveyors, Whitewall Presents spoke with the brand’s North American President François Le Gloan about capturing the spirit of Swiss luxury and design.
WHITEWALL: With this new store concept, what kind of experience did you want to create for the La Prairie customer?
FRANÇOIS LE GLOAN: Luxury is about space. We felt that Bloomingdale’s 59th Street was the right location to pioneer this new concept.
We want to give consumers multiple ways to experience the brand. You can try the product standing in front of a display, you can sit for a consultation with a beauty advisor, and you can have a facial in our private a facial room.
We don’t push the product aggressively. Of course, there is product display, but the idea is to have a place that is inviting and open so people can come in and discover.
WW: What elements of Swissness did you want to translate through the design?
FLG: There is a reference to this tradition of modernism in Swiss architecture, from Le Corbusier to Herzog & de Meuron, via the Bauhaus school. It’s a design which is quite pure, with straight lines, yet no repetition. There is a level of sophistication and balance. Each segment of the concept is unique. No two elements are alike, which is quite exceptional.
We considered ourselves and asked, “Who are we?” La Prairie is a brand which brings a sense of serenity without being boring; it has a strong identity and that comes across in the design. It’s a design which breaks from the cosmetic codes. It’s more from the jewelry and watches industry, and indeed watches and jewelry are associated with Switzerland.
WW: What kinds of materials helped to achieve that sense of serenity?
FLG: There’s a minimal color and material palette of grey, white, and metal. It’s understated yet impactful. That reflects the Swiss mindset. In Switzerland, luxury is not something to show off. It’s something that’s cerebral and expressed via quality of material and components. And there’s an element of storytelling. The whole design is meant to express Swissness—the purity, the precision, and the performance.
WW: Can you tell us about the private room? It feels quite unique to a retail concept within a department store.
FLG: Having a facial is the ultimate way to experience the brand. You are completely pampered for one hour in a very calm and restful place. You are in a world of silence and of wanted solitude.
We want consumers to be surprised. They will see something they have never seen before. They will see a boutique with a very strong design and artistic point of view.
The new La Prairie boutique is now open at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street in New York. To book a private appointment in the facial room, call the La Prairie counter at +1 212-605-3133.