Venerable French beauty brand Buly opens debut Tokyo store
Officine Universelle Buly, the beauty brand owned by French hipster couple Ramdane Touhami and Victoire de Taillac, has opened its first store in Tokyo. Located in Daikanyama, the cool, chic central Tokyo shopping neighbourhood, the 50 square-meter Buly store offers the brand’s rich array of some 750 products.
The store design is itself a unique concoction – literally divided into two. One side, 19th century ornamentation - installed by French craftsmen and made of precious imported boiserie wood cabinets, containing hundreds of apothecary’s bottles. The opposite side, built by Japanese artisans, is made of waxed cement with illuminated lunettes highlighting Buly ideas. Customers can order engraved soaps and scents in flacons personalized with hand-written calligraphy.
“We prefer beautiful stores to prime locations. We want to be a destination. One foot in the past and one in the future,” designer, DJ and one-time journalist Touhami told Fashion Network.
Buly is known for using natural ingredients, void of parabens, phenoxyethanol and silicones, and for sourcing its rare oils and powders from over 50 countries. Products boast names like Pomade Concrete and Lait Virginal.
One of France’s oldest labels, Buly was founded in 1803 by perfumer and cosmetician Jean-Vincent Bully, who opened his first boutique on the Rue Saint Honoré in Paris. Famed for his skincare, perfumes and “Vinaigre de Bully” scented vinegars, Bully inspired a key character in French literary giant Honoré de Balzac’s legendary series La Comédie Humaine.
“We are a beauty pharmacy unlike any other store – offering everything from toothpaste and perfume to combs and candles. Plus, Japan is our favorite country and really wanted a reason to go there,” explained Ramdane.
Though known as one of Paris greatest hype merchants, Touhami does have a remarkable track record of retail development. He opened his first store aged 17 and in 1998 created l’Epicerie, a concept store with Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott. All told, he has launched some 80 boutiques in a two-and-half-decade career.
“This store is our fourth baby. We have prepared this project for 13 years,” commented the entrepreneur, who has three children by de Taillac.
The couple re-launched Buly in 2014, and May 2016 opened its first international store in Taipei.
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