It may come as a surprise to some that Goop—Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand which launched in 2008—has yet to open a permanent store. After all, the company, which started as a weekly email newsletter and later expanded into a full-blown website, has expanded to e-commerce, announced the launch of a quarterly print publication with Condé Nast, established a wellness summit, and hosted eight pop-up shops in nine years. Still, Goop devotees were ready for a store of their own.
This month, Gwyneth Paltrow and her choice designers, Roman and Williams will make that vision a reality with the opening of Goop’s first permanent store, Goop Lab, in the Los Angeles’s Brentwood Country Mart. The actress and businesswoman has worked with Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch on a number of projects, including the designs of the Goop pop-up in New York City and her own New York City apartment.
The 1,300-square-foot space selected holds special meaning for Paltrow: “It’s fitting that Goop Lab is in the Brentwood Country Mart, which has been a part of my life since I was a child,” she tells Architectural Digest. “Goop Lab’s space even occupies part of the candy store I used to walk to.” Her familiarity with the space, combined with the fact that Standefer and Alesch have designed Paltrow’s personal residences, helped build the overall aesthetic Paltrow wanted to achieve for the store: A homey feel instead of a straightforward retail experience.
“It’s almost a state of mind,” says Standefer. “We really wanted to make it about the home.”
“We had this idea that it was a home. And it was a slightly rural home versus being an urban home,” says Standefer.
The space, which was conceptualized as Goop’s own Brentwood bungalow, is complete with a living room that customers are welcome to lounge in, an apothecary for trying on products, plus a greenhouse and a porch. The fully functioning kitchen features an ivory LaCanche range, cabinets painted a dusty gray by Portola Paint, and brass hardware; it will be used for cooking demonstrations and events. “We see the store as an extension of Goop HQ: You’ll see our food editor cooking in the kitchen at events or our beauty buyers trying out the in-store beauty services,” says Paltrow.
Despite having worked with Roman and Williams on numerous occasions (Standefer called the New York City pop-up shop a “dress rehearsal” for the permanent store), Paltrow didn’t just hand over the reigns to the two creatives. “I think this is an important dialogue when you talk about the process with a client who has a very sophisticated taste level and has a vision—and Gwyneth has both,” explains Standefer. “So I think it’s us trying to help her tell the narrative of the brand, and making a permanent space for Goop. We bring ideas to the table and we share concepts and share ideas and share details that bring the fundamental principles of the brand to life.”
Together, the group sat down and conceptualized a store and a customer experience. “The idea is also to be educated while you’re shopping,” says Standefer. “It’s not like you can’t have a multitiered experience. It’s more about ethos.”
A vintage stone-tiled porch serves as an entrance, which leads to a mudroom and greenhouse, where guests can purchase items from Goop’s signature gardening shop. Huge antique orangerie windows let the natural, California light flood in.
“In retail right now, experience is everything. So we designed this beautiful vanity where people can sit at and test the potions and lotions and makeup, the skin care, and learn about them, and an employee or consultant can pull up a chair can help you and teach you so there’s engagement in how we created it,” says Standefer. Goop Lab will also offer select in-store beauty services.
But the living room is the standout space of the store, serving as an area to display the company’s evolving collection of fashion offerings. “Gwyneth and I love David Wiseman. She went to dinner at the consulate of Spain and she saw one of his pieces and we put one of those in the space to almost create this poetic botanic story,” says Standefer of the chandelier (which can be ordered in the store). “Nature is a big stylistic reference for the Goop store for us.”
Goop Lab is also the first place to sell Roman and Williams Guild NY, and is debuting two items from its new Founding Collection of furniture and lighting: a bar cart called The Bachelor and a daybed called Espalda. “She’s such an important brand ambassador to the Roman and Williams Guild, and she asked if she could put two pieces of furniture for sale. They will premiere at Goop this week.” In addition to apparel, the living room area will also stock shoes and home decor items.
“The success of our pop-up installations, a franchise that we are going to continue on an even larger scale, is proof of concept for the overwhelming customer appetite for a permanent retail presence from Goop,” says Paltrow. Standefer agrees: “This idea that retail is dead . . . it’s nowhere near it. But it’s about doing it in a way thats really soulful, and thoughtful and truthful.”
In conjunction with the opening of Goop Lab, Goop and Christian Louboutin collaborated on a limited-edition capsule collection of four exclusive women’s styles and one baby shoe. The women’s line will launch exclusively on September 15 on goop.com. Paltrow and Louboutin will also cohost Goop Lab’s intimate opening party on September 13, and Goop Lab will open this month.