New York City – Judging by the success of brands such as Hims and Baxter of California, as well as the widening impact of K-Beauty in global consumption patterns, the men’s grooming market is taking off with consistently larger slices of the total beauty pie.
One such player is Tel Aviv-based Maapilim, a manufacturer of hair, beard and shower products made with natural oils and extracts from the Mediterranean region. Venturing out on a physical foray into the American market, the brand opened a pop-up store in New York City’s NoLiTa. And as the market for male beauty products grows, so does the range of acceptable male aesthetics, breaking the pink ceiling of what masculine spaces should look like – this one, for example, feels more Santorini than sandalwood.
Conceived by Israeli studio Craft&Bloom, the store was inspired by ‘the convoluted Grecian rooftop gardens – surrounded by serenity, iconic Mediterranean shapes and local herbs.’ Designers Emma and Ofer Shahar kept materials to a minimum, focusing on the soft white mineral plaster that is so linked to sea-facing Greek architecture, and the space’s hardwood floors were disguised with gravel. On top of that, they created a bespoke relaxing soundscape along with aural wellness app Endel.
But the most telling sign of the changing tides is how, upending the expectations for slickness that many male-oriented spaces often go for, they went for imperfection. ‘That’s because the soft lines and the imperfect shapes of the store’s display create an approachable scene for customers, inviting them into vacation mode as opposed to the pristine clean lines of more modern displays,’ said Craft&Bloom’s Emma Shahar.
Maybe it’s not just about creating an approachable scene that leads customers into vacation mode – given the current social panorama, it might also be about leading them into a beauty-of-all-kinds-isn’t-just-for-women mode.