For cult beauty brand Glossier, 2017 was the year of the pop-up—and expanding beyond its home market. The New York-based no-makeup makeup line broke out of its direct-to-consumer box by launching international shipping in September. Seamlessly taking its online cult brand, which started with the Into the Gloss blog, offline helped land Glossier at number 13 on the “most disruptive companies this year” list from LinkedIn.
To celebrate expanding beyond the U.S. and Puerto Rico by shipping to Canada and the U.K., in September (from Sept. 8-14, to be exact, during the Toronto International Film Festival), Glossier hosted its first pop-up store in Toronto. Founder Emily Weiss was on-hand as Glossier hosted a variety of events, including a screening of Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and outdoor movies.
Its next stop: Paris, where Glossier opened on Sept. 18th at another cult brand, Colette, and remained open through Dec. 20th, when the fabled concept store closed its doors for good as the owner wished to retire after 20 years. Glossier is due to offer e-commerce in France next year.
The cult beauty brand also headed to the Southern U.S. with an unexpected pop-up in Dallas, where from Nov. 9-15 it wooed Texans indoors its cool minimalism and sultry vibe. Glossy white surfaces, scented candles and come-hither mirrored walls beckoned selfies with printed messages made for Instagram photos: “You look good” and “Make Dallas glossier.”
That vibe kicked it up a notch by crossing the Atlantic for another short chic pop-up experience in London, from Nov. 15-22 — about a month after the launch of shipping to the U.K. Bringing such fan favorites as the brand’s Milk Jelly Cleanser, Boy Brow, Cloud Paint and Balm Dotcom products, Brits could finally try and buy the full line of skincare, makeup and body essentials in person.
Transforming an 18th century townhouse in the city’s chic Marylebone district, Londoners queued to try the full line-up Glossier products and its new perfume with the opportunity to test, swatch and selfie before buying. The millennial pink brick-and-mortar location continued the ego-boosting mirror theme while Weiss and her team talked up the first British physical experience for the brand.
It’s closing out the year in its hometown, where its Glossier You perfume pop-up is open through New Year’s Eve.
Celebrating its first-ever fragrance, the ruby red concept store opened on Nov. 5th at 123 Lafayette Street in Soho, where its year-round showroom (which became permanent in Sept. 2016 and handles click-and-pick-up e-commerce orders) is located in the penthouse upstairs. The Instagram post above hints that the Glossier You pop-up may return with the statement that it closes on Dec. 31st “for now.”
Eschewing its typical millennial pink, the ground floor Glossier You experience is an enigmatic, interactive space that allows fans to experience the scent in a “totally weird and unexpectedly luxurious way” that appeals to all five senses yet doesn’t involve touching a perfume bottle, as a press release put it.
Once inside, visitors are invited to step into a mirrored booth; press a red button and panel slides away to allow a disembodied, glove-covered hand to spritz perfume onto your wrist in a touchy-feely way.
As Weiss noted (below) on Instagram, the secret to the brand’s growth and success is no secret; it’s about listening to customers and acting on that feedback:
“It’s not complicated: ask questions, listen to answers, act. Of our customers, of our vendors, of our team. There is no room today for hierarchy when it comes to ideas: they come from everywhere. If you’ve worked with me for long enough, you know I love the MTA line “if you see something, say something!” And it’s never been more important, as a beauty company, to support fostering CHOICE and most importantly, CONNECTION. Not to do so is to be on the wrong side of history. THANK YOU to the @glossier community for always sharing—with us and each other. Your voices matter! And we’re just getting started.”
Today at #BoFVoices I had the honor of speaking about Glossier’s methodology. It’s not complicated: ask questions, listen to answers, act. Of our customers, of our vendors, of our team. There is no room today for hierarchy when it comes to ideas: they come from everywhere. If you’ve worked with me for long enough, you know I love the MTA line “if you see something, say something!” And it’s never been more important, as a beauty company, to support fostering CHOICE and most importantly, CONNECTION. Not to do so is to be on the wrong side of history. THANK YOU to the @glossier community for always sharing—with us and each other. Your voices matter! And we’re just getting started
Below, a look back at Glossier’s year of popping up: