Chances are good there’s a cluster of fancy tubes and bottles filled with expensive shower gels and lotions nestled on the rim of your bathtub. Each makes lots of promises, comes packed with plenty of mysterious chemical ingredients, and is either girly-girl feminine or macho-masculine.
None of them are from Malin+Goetz.
Malin+Goetz’s bath and skincare products are unisex and fuss-free; they come in sleek, stylish packaging and focus on efficacy instead of bells and whistles. Think of the brand as Kiehls’s chicer, hipper, younger cousin. And if you’ve got sensitive skin– or are just confused by the claims many high-end beauty brands make– these products are destined to become the staples of your daily grooming routine.
The brand’s focus on down-to-earth, quality products in streamlined packaging comes as no surprise given the professional pedigree of its namesakes. Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz founded the company in 2003 after stints at Prada, Vitra, Barneys New York, and–indeed–Kiehl’s. Instead of running the business out of a traditional office space, they literally set up shop in Chelsea, basing themselves in a narrow Seventh Avenue space with a retail area at the front and an office tucked in the back. The welcoming spot–devised as a giant three-sided clean white box sandwiched into an old school storefront–won immediate acclaim for its design and quickly became a neighborhood anchor when it opened in early 2004.
The business immediately took off and the line was picked up nationally by Barneys New York and tastemaker shops abroad like Mecca Cosmetica in Australia and Konk and Breath in Berlin. In addition to the Chelsea flagship, there is a dedicated Malin+Goetz boutique at Studio@Fred Segal in Santa Monica and a store in Osaka, Japan.
Malin+Goetz has just launched its second New York boutique, on Amsterdam Avenue, in a softly trendy part of the Upper West Side that includes branches of Steven Alan and Scharffen Berger Chocolate. “What’s nice about Amsterdam is that it’s not really a traditional shopping street,” Andrew Goetz explained. “The traditional streets are Columbus and Broadway. And we found a great space: a corner that was an old barbershop. We liked the story that it was beauty from another time and we’re carrying the torch.”
Goetz and Malin sought that old-timey, accessible feel for their second location.”We want to be that neighborhood apothecary, and the Upper West Side is truly a real neighborhood,” Malin said.
To customize the space, the duo worked with architect Craig Konyk, who also designed the Seventh Avenue flagship. Paneling was created from wood floors salvaged from an old Long Island mansion, with holes sporadically popped into the surface to give it a lighter, more modern feel. “We looked at our existing stores as a paradigm and decided to duplicate the feeling of the space but make it more appropriate for the new neighborhood,” Malin said. “We really brought in some more traditional elements so it was a little more understandable, a little less avant-garde, but it’s still very true to the brand. It feels very Upper West Side, but it’s still Malin + Goetz.”
The new Malin +Goetz store is located at 455 Amsterdam Avenue on New York’s Upper West Side. For more information, go to malinandgoetz.com.