What do you like most about the new Aesop space?
The fact the store is now full of life, with people inside the store. The building has been transformed and is being used again after being restored from a former shoe shop where all the character was hidden. The stone sink, with all its details, has to be one of our favourite objects inside the store.
What makes the new location different from the Lamb’s Conduit Street Aesop store?
It focuses on a different element to Lamb’s Conduit Street. Water is a focal point there, whereas the Bath store is more about stone.
Did you feel you wanted to bring a part of Bath architecture and Bath stone to the new store?
Yes ‒ but for this to be about the material and not about the construction. Even though we used the stone to rebuild the column in the store, we wanted to focus on the beauty of the walls and not for it to shout out too loudly. We wanted to bring the beauty of the stone to life.
What are your favourite Aesop products?
Deodorant. It was upsetting when we ran out of it when we were travelling in Ireland. Also, we definitely cannot live without Resurrection hand balm.
Who or what inspires you, and is there a specific decade or era that you love for architecture?
Overall there is no specific period; our arrangements are so broad. We are drawn to the 18th century, but equally we just spent time in Los Angeles enjoying some insane modernist houses.
What shops do you admire for their architecture?
Egg in Kinnerton Street, which is in an old mews that was once the stable area for houses. The store has been treated so beautifully, with original stable tile flooring and ceramics. You find yourself looking at the store more than the products available for sale.
Is there anyone you would like to work with?
We worked with Hermès in 2017 and loved it; we generally enjoy collaborating with brands we have a connection with. Comme des Garçons would also be inspiring to work with on a project.
What are your favourite areas in London?
We’ve enjoyed spending time working in Bloomsbury and Bermondsey recently, exploring the areas. London is constantly changing and there are surprises as you walk around parts of the city that you have never seen before.
What are your favourite destinations for travel inspiration?
We loved visiting Yorkshire in April; we are always drawn to Italy, Venice and Sicily in particular; and we want to go back to Japan. The most inspiring thing you can do in the world is travel. It’s unbelievable ‒ and our list of places to visit is endless.
What’s next for the James Plumb brand?
We just opened in Los Angeles at Slete Gallery. We are also working with a large-scale lighting company in Bermondsey to create a showroom; but not a showroom as you might expect, a room that is more of an experience for customers and clients than a showroom.
Aesop, 16 New Bond Street, Bath BA1 1BA, 01225 339772