When pop icon Selena Gomez launched Rare Beauty during the pandemic, a communal office space wasn’t an option. Instead, the company relied on texts, Zooms, and FaceTime calls for the better part of three years while creating the innovative lip oils, liquid blushes, and flexible brow gels that now define the brand.
“Launching a brand-new company in a global pandemic was not ideal,” Selena tells Architectural Digest. “Being able to walk around the office, have in-person meetings, and more impromptu conversations is preferred, especially when we’re testing new products and looking at different shades.”
So when it finally came time to design a proper home base for her growing company, Selena had a vision. “We wanted a space that reflected who we are as a brand, which is warm and welcoming.”
Selena ultimately tapped Havenly lead designer Kelsey Fischer for the project. “The main goal was to create a space where the employees felt comfortable and welcome,” says Kelsey, noting the company’s ethos. “It needed to be a true representation of the beauty brand.”
Considering the old office’s “intense” aesthetic (consisting of neon furniture, black marble walls, and shades of blue, electric green, and gray), it’s safe to say Kelsey had her work cut out for her. “The whole team wanted something a lot less severe in tone,” she adds.
Ahead, see how Kelsey designed a proper, fitting home for the Rare Beauty brand and its founder.
Priming the canvas
Because the existing building had less-than-desirable features, Kelsey had to get creative when priming the canvas, so to speak. Mauve floor-to-ceiling curtains cover up the harsh black marble walls, while shades of pink paint warm up the space. Cozy ambient lighting and plush rugs add a welcoming feel reminiscent of an actual home.
“It was really a game of making the most out the elements we could not alter, while bringing to life a visual representation of the brand,” says Kelsey, noting the tonal staircase inspired by Rare Beauty’s signature blush colors.
The first time I saw my new office, I was blown away. I’ve never had an office in my life, and something about seeing it made what we’ve been working on for so long feel very real.
As with any office design, function is just as important as form. Kelsey incorporated a proper office space for Selena, as well as conference rooms and lounge spaces for employees to take meetings and Zoom calls or just hang out. “Selena didn’t really have an office previously,” says Kelsey. “We created a space where she could work, take meetings, display and test products, film content, and lounge,” she explains, noting the desk, shelving, vanity, and storage credenza.
“The first time I saw my new office completed, I was blown away,” says Selena. “I’ve never had an office in my life, and something about seeing it made what we’ve been working on for so long feel very real.”
Creating a color story
Using the brand’s color palette and product assortment as inspiration, Kelsey gave the entire office a warm, tonal look and feel. “The Rare Beauty products are so beautiful — I used them as a jumping off point for both color palette and silhouette,” she explains, noting the soft, curved furniture and tones of blush, mauve, and berry. “I wanted the space to reflect what the brand represents, which is feeling comfortable and beautiful as you are.”
Image credits: Kylie Fitts and Flannery Underwood
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