U*tique Shop is the world’s first interactive, automated luxury store for “life’s little emergencies and indulgences.” Positioned at the intersection of style, technology and convenience, U*tique Shop will offer an assortment of iconic ‘must haves’ from today’s luxury and personal-care segments. “U*tique Shop is a luxury lifestyle brand, positioned to meet the needs of the on-the-go consumer who appreciates premium, well-crafted products,” says CEO and creator, Mara Segal. U*tique Shop features an original touch-screen interface, interactive LED lighting design, and a behind-thescenes robot who delivers fragile products from secure storage and direct into the hands of customers.
The debut of U*tique Shop at Fred Segal’s Santa Monica location is the first iteration of what will serve as the anchor and prototype for U*tique Shops. U*tique collaborated with up-and-coming design talent Russell Greenberg, Director of RUX, a New York City based design studio, for the overall design of the machine.
“The words upscale, automated and retail are not typically found in the same sentence,” said Greenberg. “ We needed to invent an image and experience for U*tique that was so seductive, elegant, and streamlined that it would instantly transform people’s preconceived notions about what shopping could be. The magic and allure of U*tique is that it combines the shockingly new and the reassuringly ordinary.”
Prior to founding U*tique, CEO Segal , 29, (no relation to Fred Segal) was a brand and trend consultant for top brands including Dove, Absolut, AXE, and Pepsi, who often found herself in need of cosmetics and personal care items, but didn’t have time to go to shop; she was looking for a convenient way to fulfill her needs. “We have lived in a world of destination retail – you come to me… I wanted to deliver a retail experience that was responsive to today’s consumer…” Segal said, describing the inspiration behind U*tique’s inception. “We are savvy, information hungry, and time-strapped… e-commerce bridged the gap between products and information, automated retail will bridge the gap between information and instant gratification – it’s retail on demand.”
While U*tique plans to pop up its automated shops across the globe, it is proud to be partnering with STUDIO at Fred Segal for its world exclusive launch. U*tique chose STUDIO BEAUTYMIX at Fred Segal because it has been a trend-setter in beauty and luxury for over 20 years and is the epicenter of the Los Angeles fashion scene, frequented by celebrities and style-conscious travelers from around the globe. STUDIO founder and creator of award-winning luxury brands BURN candle and Memoire Liquide fragrance, Robin Coe-Hutshing, has built a reputation in the beauty industry for always discovering ‘what’s next’. When Robin caught wind of U*tique from a mutual designer friend in Los Angeles, she knew she had to have it.
“I think U*tique is by far one of the most innovative concepts I have seen in a very long time. The opportunity for STUDIO to partner with Mara Segal and launch U*tique is truly groundbreaking in terms of retail theater and new levels of branding and customer experience,” Coe-Hutshing said. Brand partners include industry icons such as: Lancome, ZIRH, Bliss, C.O. Bigelow, Lancaster, BURN Candles, Chantecaille, and rising stars such as: Hourglass Cosmetics, Vosges Haut Chocolat, EBoost Energy Supplements, David Kirsch Wellness, Lipstick Queen, ZELENS and Ketty Sean, a couture Parisian knit doll designer debuting in the US with U*tique. The U*tique team will frequently update the product selection to stay on the cutting edge.
“I wanted to help simplify the shopping experience for customers. Our store is like an interactive gallery, each item is hand selected and celebrated,” Segal said. “Consumers can experience that wonderful kid-in-candy-store feeling — their eye is delighted, their desires are met, the only difficult part is choosing which treat to buy.”