Neiman Marcus Goes Niche With Curated By Shen Concept At Its Hudson Yards Location
The Neiman Marcus shopper is no stranger to beauty’s most luxurious legacy brands, from La Mer to La Prairie. But, with today’s opening of the Neiman Marcus’ new 188,000-square-foot Hudson Yards location, the high-end retailer’s clientele will be introduced to emerging stars of beauty and wellness through the Curated By Shen shop-in-shop concept located on the store’s fifth-floor beauty department.
The inaugural merchandise range at Curated By Shen spans 12 brands such as oral-care innovator Swiss Smile, haircare brand Ikoo, color cosmetics authority Ellis Faas, ingestible specialists Imbibe and La Sirene, body-care line Cela, unisex fragrance maker Abbott NYC, and prestige skincare players 8 Faces, Eighth Day and Circcell. In addition, the in-store shop marks the debut of a Shen Beauty tool, a steel facial massager that can be used in lieu of a Gua Sha crystal to contour and firm the skin.
Jessica Richards, founder of the Shen Beauty boutique in Brooklyn and head of beauty and wellness at lifestyle chain Free People, chose brands for Curated By Shen from her store’s existing selection that she thought would be new to and resonate with Neiman Marcus customers. “Focusing on niche brands was at the core of this,” she says. “Look is obviously most important to me as well as figuring out what works for a different customer, but still focuses on what Shen is.”
“Look is obviously most important to me as well as figuring out what works for a different customer, but still focuses on what Shen is.”
Almost all the items available at Curated By Shen are also sold in Shen Beauty’s brick-and-mortar shop and through its e-commerce platform. The items are ordered for the shop-in-shop by Shen, not Neiman Marcus. A small number of the participating brands is already sold at other Neiman Marcus locations around the country, but their founders recognize the value of being showcased in the in-store shop at a prominent Neiman Marcus beauty presentation.
“To be associated with two iconic brands that have shown leadership not only in their industry segments, but have been a part of the cultural landscape of beauty is an indescribable thrill,” says Maya Crothers, founder of Circcell, which entered Neiman Marcus in 2017 and is currently sold in four locations nationwide. “We look forward to continuing to be a part of this landscape with them.”
For the Neiman Marcus team, premiering Curated By Shen in the luxury retailer’s first Manhattan door demonstrates its continued commitment to incorporate independent beauty and wellness brands in its assortment. Neiman Marcus has been onboarding budding brands through a collaboration with Indie Beauty Media Group, owner of Beauty Independent and Indie Beauty Expo, that began in 2017. Also located on the fifth floor beauty department is Neiman Marcus’ Trending Beauty section, which houses hundreds of independent brands, from Tata Harper skincare to Lelo sex toys. Neiman has also entered the CBD game, with offerings from Code Of Harmony, Saint Jane and Sagely Naturals.
“The Curated by Shen collection aligns with our assortment right now especially in our Trending Beauty category,” explains Michelle Daquioag, beauty selling manager for Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards. “We get to showcase a lot of innovative, cool products in Trending that are highly curated to represent both well-known and niche brands, many within the crossover of clean beauty and wellness. I think Shen brings a New York perspective very fitting for Neiman Marcus opening in Manhattan. It’s every bit thoughtful beauty meets stylish branding which to me is very much what many of our customers are shopping for.”
“Shen is not only a launch pad for new brands, but a destination for the industry, including other merchants looking for what’s next. I am excited for our customers to discover the magic of Shen.”
The activation is one component of a multi-pronged strategic growth plan for Shen and serves as a pilot for the retail concept’s next phase. Richards is out to further solidify Shen as a renowned independent beauty and wellness trendsetter. She says, “I’m looking forward to seeing what this partnership does and how we can explore something more meaningful.” Kim D’Angelo, beauty buyer for Neiman Marcus, shares Richards’ excitement. “Shen is not only a launch pad for new brands, but a destination for the industry, including other merchants looking for what’s next. I am excited for our customers to discover the magic of Shen, and I know Jessica’s clients will be thrilled to have a second touchpoint to discover ahead-of-the-curve trends and products in person.”
The initiative, offered to Shen without an overhead fee, also gives Richards a cost-effective footprint in an expensive retail complex. Over 100 retailers, including in the beauty category The Body Shop, Molton Brown, Sephora, Kiehl’s and MAC, bowed at Hudson Yards today and paid a premium for the privilege. In 2016, Hudson Yards’ retail rents reached $200 to $750 a square foot, according to WWD, an amount not feasible for independent retailers like Shen.