It’s 10 years since Gwyneth Paltrow sent out her very first Goop newsletter from her kitchen table in Notting Hill. In the decade since that launch it’s grown into an international media outlet and commercial powerhouse that employs over 200 staff and carries a name that represents a certain lifestyle. Now based in California, what was behind the decision to open shop in London? ‘London is such a huge part of my adult life. It’s where the idea of Goop came to me. It’s where it all began so it felt like coming home.’ This is how Gwyneth explains the decision to Chief Content Officer Elise Loehnen in this week’s anniversary episode of the Goop podcast. Also in the interview she delves into that famous decision to announce her separation – via Goop –as a ‘conscious uncoupling’, as well as the reason why she began formulating own-brand products. In search of a face cream that was both organic and luxurious, Gwyneth spotted a gap in the market – ‘I didn’t want to have to go to health food store to buy face cream, I’m way too vain for that! So we made one.’ This was the beginnings of the Goop beauty range that now includes cleansers, scrubs, oils, scent and deliciously packaged bath salts with wonderful names like ‘Nurse!’ for an ‘under the weather bath soak’ that would surely make you feel better.
As you enter the sleek Westbourne Grove shop, past potted olive trees, you’re greeted by a small selection of chic fashion: think crisp black cotton dresses, V neck cashmere sweaters and delicate jewellery but it’s the beauty area up a flight of steps that keeps winking at you.
With its emphasis on new and small brands with delectable packaging, we counted no fewer than seven facial oils. We also saw one of Gwyneth’s favourite items, the Crave ‘wear-it-round-your-neck vibrator’ (each to her own) or Fur Oil for pubic hair. Yes really – all deadly serious and in the best possible taste. The beauty area is a like a sweet shop for grown ups and we wanted it all, from the divine-smelling French Girl body oil to the Olio e Osso ‘chopstick’ lipbalm/blusher.
The multi-level pop-up has been designed by Fran Hickman and features the ultimate in aspirational interiors: Wild At Heart plants scattered about, Pinch lighting and Vitsoe furniture and a pretty courtyard garden at the back. Downstairs you’ll find homewares with Gwyneth’s books, kitchen accessories and scatter cushions, as well as sportswear with Perfect Moment red running leggings sitting next to own brand frilled sweatshirts.