Why Urban Outfitters Just Became Our New Favorite Beauty Store

Rachel Adler
urban outfitters beauty

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters has long been the go-to spot for cutting edge, street chic fashion, and this philosophy has continued to grow with the expansion of beauty products in store. Launched this week, the company’s newest location in Herald Square, New York City, is chock full of up-and-coming, innovative beauty brands that even us beauty editors haven’t seen yet. Complete with an in-store hair salon and brands with the coolest packaging we’ve ever seen (look out for pandas and egg cartons!), Urban Outfitters’ expanded beauty floor is already becoming a destination for beauty junkies.

We had the chance to catch up with Laura Johnson, executive director of women’s fashion and beauty at Urban Outfitters, at the launch of the new Herald Square location. From the newest Korean beauty products hitting shelves to the process for choosing which brands would be sold in stores, Laura told us everything we wanted to know about our new favorite beauty shop. Read on below!

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Beauty High: Can you explain the background behind choosing a wide variety of different products?

We have a very broad business online, we add new brands constantly. We’re constantly researching. We spend most of the time looking for emerging brands and emerging ingredients that we think would be interesting to our customers. So we are constantly uploading and trying new things online and for this store, in particular but with beauty and most of the chain, where you see engagement, that’s when we decide to pull it out.

TONYMOLY Hand Cream - in cute Panda packaging!

TONYMOLY Hand Cream – in cute Panda packaging!

As for the Korean beauty brands, which do you see that you really want to include in this store?

Well TONYMOLY was the first Korean brand that we engaged with in a big way. We’ve had a wonderful relationship with them so far, the products have been very well received, and we just continued to build on that so we brought Holika in online. That is fairly new for us we’ve only had it for maybe for two months now. And we have Peripera so we’ve brought all of these online to test them and the objective of this Herald’s Square store [in New York City] is to give a live, in-person experience to what we’re doing online. This is the ultimate of our lifestyle experience. The brands that are represented here are what we’re most excited about and we’ll continue to build on that as new things emerge in time.

Do you think you’ll still go forward with testing products online before you bring them into the store?

Generally, yes. You know when you think about it, especially with color cosmetics, there are fixtures involved so we want to present every brand in the best possible light. So, we need to see if the customers engage with the brand before we do a full roll out in the store because there’s definitely an investment involved. One of the things that was really important for us is that beauty had been, beauty has been in our language since the very beginning on some levels. It started off more a novelty business with things on the side and as time’s gone on we’ve seen our customers finding beauty more and more important in her lifestyle so we wanted to be able to elevate the presentation. That’s very important to us, that if we decided to sign on with a brand we want to make sure that their product is beautifully presented, so we’re very careful with that.

Where to Shop: UrbanOutfitters.com