Since 2020, Kristina Romanova has brought her expertise within the fashion and beauty industries to drive forward Aman Essentials. Under her leadership and vision, the development of Aman Essentials has become a part of Aman’s multi-level expansion which is transforming this revered hospitality brand into a 360-lifestyle brand. On the road to success.
Since October 26, Aman Essentials has been available in the Beauty Hall of Harrods. Aman skincare, Aman Fine Fragrance and Aman Spa candles can be purchased for the first time in a retail destination outside the havens of the Aman hotels and resorts. Designed by long time Aman collaborator, architect Kengo Duma, the space reflects Aman’s core values of exceptional design and architecture and offers guests an ultimate serenity in the heart of the world’s exquisite department store.
Could you describe your role?
I am the CEO of Aman Essentials. I am very hands-on with my role and get involved into every detail. I lead business and creative approaches with the help of my team and the creative consultant we work with. I really get involved in testing the products wherever they are made. I don’t want to produce anything that I will not use myself.
Could you tell me the story behind Aman Essentials brand?
Aman essentials is a luxury lifestyle brand which was created to enable the Aman faithful customers to continue the Aman journey in the comfort of their home. For example, our guests love to collect luggage tags from the different locations and in general they always ask “what body oils you use for the massage”, “I wanna get it for my home and I wanna continue using it while I am outside Aman”. That’s why we decided to create this whole lifestyle brand. It started in 2018, with the creation of the Aman skincare which was the natural extension of the Aman spa offerings and then we added the line of fine fragrance, wellness and ready to wear in 2020, and last but not least, last August, we added the leather collection to our range. It was basically created to continue the Aman holistic journey outside the hotel premises.
What can we find in the Aman Essentials?
We have an extensive line, the Ready To Wear includes active wear, swim wear, lounge wear, need wear and recently we also added the city collection with Aman New York which is coming to our location portfolio. We also have Aman Tokyo, the city properties. This city collection will work for city environment. It was created seamlessly to fit into Aman customers’ wardrobe and it contains timeless contemporary pieces that will never get out of style. The goal is just to stay out of seasons and create the perfect Aman junkies wardrobe that you can find in any of our hotels, to have the whole range ready for you and be able to travel light.
Who are your customers?
It’s hard to put them in one box really, it’s a wide range of ages and culture, but I think there is a thread that connects all of them: it’s the fact they value quality and design. That’s why we try to give them our products outside the hotels. They like the fact that the products are timeless, holistic and they are just very loyal to the brand.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
We always take inspiration from different things. I have been fortunate enough to travel to most of the Aman destinations and this is my main source of inspiration. To be able to experience the property and the nature around it, I always get inspired by the palettes of colors of the different resorts, for example, you can see the terra-cotta of Amanjena being present through all the collection and the palm-trees of Amanpuri on this special print for the clothes. Also speaking with our guests and learning what they love, what they need and what they expect from us always gives me inspiration. To see the creations I made with the team always inspires me to do more, and just seing someone wearing a monogram print on the beach and a swimsuit we created always gives endless inspiration.
Your favorite Aman Essentials pieces?
It’s like picking your favorite babies. It’s so hard to answer that question because we have quite a diverse portfolio of the products we make from the leather collection to ready to wear and skincare. I can say in the Ready To Wear I really love the silk dress because for me it was very hard to find a perfect, simple silk dress that would fit me and would be easy to style with other pieces from my wardrobe and with quality being there, so I decided to make one! It’s one of my favorite pieces for sure. From the leather collection, I love all our monogram pieces that have become best sellers. For the skincare, I really like the Aman scrub and body oil. It really prepares your skin very well for holidays. I love the scents of the products as well.
What could you say about the development of the brand?
We just launched the collaboration with 111 Skin which has always been my favorite face mask. We have a mutual love for each other’s brand. With the founders of 111 skin we decided to create this amazing product that has the know how of 111 skin, the more clinical approach, but also the ingredients that they sourced from Aman destinations.
We have quite a few launches in the pipeline, we have fine jewelry coming, we have the development of the new skincare line which will come out early 2023. The new line will be more connected to the functional skincare on your daily routine. It will contain cleansers, moisturizers, toners, eye creams, more in the easy routine you can travel with and the package will be more minimalistic. We have just opened the first proper shop in shop in Harrods in the most famous department store, it is a big step for us.
We also have a few lines in development like the heritage Aman logo line which is a collectible for our guests, they love buying different items from our properties, all the hotels like Amangani, Amangiri, Amanpuri have different names and this is what we call the heritage logos. We develop a whole collection dedicated to more easy wear pieces like hoodies, t-shirts, sweatpants, and it will be made with 70% sustainable fabrics and it’s all naturally dyed. It will be inspired by the different color palettes of the resorts and the hotels.
Do you have a favorite Aman resort?
It is the toughest question people often ask me. It is very hard to pick one because we have quite a diverse portfolio which contains many different destinations, different vibes. I have always been a city girl and I am really inspired by city energy. I have always enjoyed going to New York and Tokyo, our city properties. Again, it’s really hard to pick one but I really love Aman Tokyo because of the attention to details you can see there, it’s quite incredible. The whole experience from the arrivals, the greetings, the in-room amenities that you can find right away. For example, I always remember going for the first time to Tokyo, it is already a cultural shock in general to be in Japan for the first time. To be in Aman where you can see all the amazing minimalist furniture, and the whole room amenities like the little chocolates which were lined up perfectly in a Japanese wooden box, that blew my mind.
How could you describe Aman Essentials in three words?
Authentic, conscious and refined.