On New York’s Crosby Street, a cobblestone side street nestled between Spring and Prince, is a neon oasis. Bright orange, green and pink lights shine through the windows, and when customers slip through the front door, they become engulfed in color.
Welcome to House of Drunk, a new pop-up from Drunk Elephant, a cult favorite skincare brand that’s become an Instagram darling, particularly over the past half-decade. (It’s also currently “open” to discussing a sale with interested parties, reports Bloomberg; according to Business of Fashion, Unilever was sniffing around a billion-dollar acquisition.)
Despite the brand’s growing buzz, it hadn’t opened up its own storefront stateside—until now. The beauty brand did the pop-up thing in Singapore (November 2018) and London (October 2018) to trumpet its entrance into those markets. Future pop-ups are planned for Los Angeles and an as-of-yet undisclosed international location.
The SoHo space functions as a temporary store for Drunk Elephant, which doesn’t have any permanent brick-and-mortar locations, as well as a branded touch point for a company that’s engaged in very little traditional advertising and paid partnerships. Tiffany Masterson, founder and CEO of Drunk Elephant said that House of Drunk is “basically taking all the elements of our brand, and making it so you can walk into the brand.”
“There’s something about bringing people who have been a part of the brand and have been with the brand for so many years, and have them come in, and get to meet them and talk to them,” added Masterson. “It’s a great way to experience what the brand really is, and the brand vibe.”
House of Drunk’s use of bold color is no coincidence, as it mimics the brand’s packaging, which come in white containers, always topped with a brightly colored lid.
“When I designed the line, and laid out what I wanted it to be, it was all this,” Masterson told Adweek at House of Drunk’s launch event Monday. “It was white with pops of color, that make you look and make you want to touch. My taste is lots of color, happy, funky, bright. That’s what I personally love to see around me.”
The intense, immersive nature of the space represents an “acid trip” of sorts, according to a statement from the brand—referring to the glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric acids that appear in its products.
Trippy, indeed. Along one wall, orange and purple spheres stick out from a mirror. On another, white fuzz is the backdrop for neon lights. Blow-up furniture and couches shaped like lips line the space. A side room, done up entirely in lavender, highlights the brand’s newly redesigned Lala Retro Whipped Cream—a product that will be available to House of Drunk visitors first, before it’s on sale more widely in July.
Beyond shopping—all of Drunk Elephant’s products will be available, as well as hats, shirts and other merchandise bearing its logo—visitors get a Drunk Elephant education of sorts, guiding them toward which of the brand’s products are best for them. On touchscreens placed around the space, visitors can take a quiz to determine whether their skincare needs and desires are better suited to Drunk Elephant’s morning or nighttime regimens—or, as the brand likes to call them, “smoothies.”
“I find myself wanting to hold the consumers’ hand, and walk them through the experience,” said Masterson. “I want to walk everyone through it so they get their money’s worth, they get the good experience, the get the benefit of the philosophy, and there’s no better way to do it than to really explain it.”
The New York location of House of Drunk opens on Friday, June 14.