Retail notes from Bangkok: Niche beauty from Thailand

I just came back from a short trip to Bangkok where I did some sightseeing, met up with friends and ate as much papaya salad as I could. And of course I also went shopping! Bangkok has some jaw-dropping malls, like gigantic Centralworld (which includes the rather cool Zen department store – this is the store that was damaged by fire together with a part of Centralworld during the riots of 2010 and on my last trip to Bangkok, 2011, it was still being renovated).

Then there is teenage favourite MBK Center (featuring several stalls where you can buy MAC fakes….), premium malls Gaysorn and Central Chidlom (we’re talking wall-to-wall international fashion labels here) and trend-driven Siam Center, with its many Thai/Asian designer stores.

I like Siam Center very much; it was Bangkok’s first shopping mall and initially opened in 1973. The mall went through several incarnations and was re-opened in early 2013 after an extensive re-design.

Now an entire floor is dedicated to Thai designers and the shops are stunning – lots of glass and steel, black and white tones; the interior design has a rather industrial feel to it which I love. It’s very Berlin!!

There is also a really interesting concept store, The Selected. They carry primarily Thai and Asian brands: cosmetics, accessories, bags, stationery, some clothes, interior design and so on. The store has some tempting products indeed – like the funky handbags and totes made by Thai bag label Fresh Meat.

And The Selected also retails three very stylish beauty brands – GLA, Laksmi Mantra and soap brand Naratara. I had to google all three labels – I’m familiar with most of the big Thai spa brands like Harnn, Panipuri, Mt Sapola and Thann but these three brands were new to me. I tried out a couple of the GLA products in store; very nice indeed. I also treated myself to a three of the NRA soaps – check out the beautiful origami-inspired packaging.

Bangkok Siam Center (1)     Bangkok Siam Center (14)     IMG_4429


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Filed under Industry News, Retail, Travel, Trends

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