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June 4, 2015

Aesop in Adelaide: Best interior award

Australian skincare company Aesop is experiencing exponential growth in its retail arm worldwide while its best store, according to a recent award, might just be in Adelaide.

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  • Words and pictures: Joshua Fanning

It’s been six years since Ryan Genesin returned to Adelaide to set up his practice, Genesin Studio. He left a career with the celebrated practice, Hecker Guthrie to go it alone and the dividends are starting to accumulate.


You can take a tour around Genesin Studio’s beautiful Aesop store here… or in-person at 232 Rundle Street, Adelaide 5000

This year Genesin Studio won Best Commercial Interior at the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards for his work on Aesop Rundle Street. The award coincided with Aesop ticking over with 100 stores worldwide as the Australian skincare brand continues to find new fans of its fragrant and restorative balms, tinctures and oils.

As part of a special event Aesop to celebrate the milestone Aesop’s Global Retail Design Manager Denise Neri touched down in Adelaide this week to host an informal discussion about design and the company’s approach to growing their brand globally.

“One of the things we’re always looking for is an architect who has a big connection with the city that they’re in,” said Denise. “But [they must] also be talented, creative and want to give back to the community. When I had my first conversations with Ryan he certainly ticked all of those boxes.”

Denise is about to oversee and guide the establishment of a further 20 plus stores in North America – where the company is seeing its greatest growth but for Ryan, the call from Aesop to collaborate was totally out of the blue.

“When Denise first contacted me I thought that perhaps I was getting a call from Aesop to maybe buy some skin care products,” said Ryan, then continued, “Slowly, I sobered up to the fact that Denise was talking to me as a designer, saying, “would you like to work for us?”

Ryan explained to a wall-to-wall audience in the beautiful Aesop store on Rundle Street a little of the weight of working with such a mature and established brand.

“As a designer I feel a personal responsibility to carry the Australian flag in a round-about-way. It’s got international prestige and the store list is growing around the globe,” he said. “For me, as a designer, I felt a responsibility to play a role in growing the business and also representing Adelaide.”

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