Last week I was invited to a bloggers’ evening at the Kiehl’s store in the Victoria Quarter, Leeds. I’d never been in before – it’s a tiny shop and quite tucked away, so has never caught my eye. But after an hour chatting to the passionate team and gazing in wonder at the beautifully-designed space, I was sold.
Kiehl’s wasn’t a brand I was familiar with before the event, so the staff took time to explain the history and story behind it. I love hearing how brands started life – Kiehl’s was a community pharmacy in New York’s East Village, selling homemade lotions and potions to the local residents. It was also the first brand ever to introduce a men’s skincare range.
The interior design of the shop is just stunning. You all know I’m a huge fan of vintage trinkets and weird old things, so the stacks of books, glass bottles and wooden boxes appealed to my inner magpie.
I loved Mr Bones, too – he started life in the original Kiehl’s shop as something to entertain men as their partners shopped, and now there’s one in every store, reminding staff and shoppers of the brand’s pharmaceutical beginnings.
The New York heritage is visible everywhere, with replica street signs and black and white photos from the East Village store. There’s usually a Harley Davidson motorbike in every shop – another piece brought in to entertain those bored men – but the Leeds store is too small, so they have an army plane instead. Of course, there’s a story behind that too – John Kiehl, the founder of Kiehl’s, was an air force pilot.
While in-store, I got to try out some of the beautiful products Kiehl’s offer, including their classic Creme de Corps body moisturiser. It’s their best selling product and it’s easy to see why – deliciously thick, creamy but so smooth and silky on the skin, it sinks in quickly and nourishes dry patches. I received a sample of this in my goody bag and have been using it every day to test the ‘changes the texture of your skin in 10 days’ claim – so far, so good. It’s a gorgeous product and I’ll definitely be back for more.
Have you ever used anything from the Kiehl’s brand?