Hangzhou – Chinese cosmetics company Harmay is honouring the more mundane moments in life with its new store in Hangzhou. Opting for an administrative aesthetic, the shop is a playful recreation of a typical office in the 1970s.
Designed by AIM Architecture, the nostalgic shop includes ergonomic desk chairs, fake bookshelves and ‘meeting rooms’ that are all used to display make-up products. Painted in hues of yellow, orange and brown, the colour palette is a nod to popular domestic décor from the era.
Creating a memorable retail experience that can only be enjoyed in person, the design shows how imaginative bricks-and-mortar offerings can compete with e-commerce. ‘Here in China, the reality is that people shop online for everything, anywhere, any time. As physical shopping is just for fun, we wanted to create a colourful version of it,’ explains Wendy Saunders, founder of AIM Architecture.
Combining faux period design with immersive product displays, Harmay is tapping into the Office Nostalgia trend we explored in Reworking the Workplace. As society re-examines long-standing tropes in office design, nostalgia-based environments can create a point of difference from flat digital platforms.
With the rise of nostalgic interiors, beauty companies have an opportunity to draw inspiration from unlikely sources to create retail experiences worth stepping out of the house for