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Harry Styles’ Beauty Brand Opens an Out-of-this-World Pop-up in Chicago

Pleasing – Harry Styles’ beauty and lifestyle brand – recently arrived in Chicago with a retro, space-themed pop-up dubbed the “Pleasing AstroMilk Bar.” Located in Wicker Park, this imaginative and immersive pop-up introduces Pleasing’s latest product line – the AstroMilk nail polish collection, named for its pastel color palette.

Pleasing has crafted a unique storyline around the new “milky” color palette and “otherworldly” finish, which is woven throughout the product design, pop-up theme, and brand messaging.

Behind the Non-Binary Beauty Brand

Founded by pop icon Harry Styles in 2021, Pleasing began with gender-fluid nail polish – a product Styles frequently wears – aiming to disrupt the female-dominated beauty industry. The brand has since expanded to include apparel, accessories, beauty products, and fragrances.

Pleasing merchandise

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Notably, Harry Styles’ name and image are rarely associated with Pleasing, unlike other celebrity beauty brands where the star is the face of the brand, such as Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and Fenty by Rihanna. Instead, the brand embodies Styles’ values by promoting inclusivity through its gender-neutral products, emphasizing sustainable practices, and collaborating with community-oriented initiatives, such as offering complimentary voter registration status checks. As the beauty market continues to be saturated with celebrity brands such as Rare Beauty, Goop, and Rhode, creating a differentiated experience and distinct value for customers becomes crucial to winning market share.

Pleasing, a primarily online brand, has connected with new and existing consumers by designing 15 month-long pop-ups across the US and UK since 2021. Each experience has a unique spin inspired by a new polish collection, such as rodeo-inspired “Pleasing Saloon” in Austin, Texas and a psychedelic and nature-themed “Shroom Bloom” in NYC, LA, and London.

Chicago’s Pleasing AstroMilk Bar

The AstroMilk Bar pop-up cleverly builds awareness of the brand and new product through sensory activations, a mascot, and unusual design. The store will be open until July 14th.

  • Ice Cream Bar: The four new colors – “Cow Jumped Over the Moon”, “Space Milk”, Milk Man’s Cheeks”, and “Not Sorbet” – each have an accompanying ice cream flavor sold in-store. The ice cream bar also doubles as the checkout for all products, leaning into the retro-diner experience.
Ice Cream Bar

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  • Designated Product Mascot: Marshal the Martian Milk Man, the mascot of the product, is featured on the polish nail packing and other limited-edition UFOs, or “unidentified fashion options”. The limited-edition merchandise creates a sense of exclusivity that Gen Z shoppers welcome.
AstroMilk Collection

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  • Intriguing Design: The store melds futuristic and retro elements in every aspect. The entrance is coated in a spacey reflective material while also featuring a classic red checkered design. This bold aesthetic lures passersby into the store to discover the brand. The décor is a mix of alien imagery, like planets and “take me to your pleasing” plaques, along with old-timey gumball machines and vintage TVs. There is no explicit mention, including photos, music, or messaging, of founder Harry Styles in store.
Store Photos

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The pop-up reflects the unique spin the brand gives to its products. While nail polish is nothing “new,” positioning it as gender-neutral takes a classic item and adds a twist—much like the space-themed twist on a retro diner. It does come at a premium, with each polish priced at $18, higher than typical products.

Check out our recent blog, “Beyond Yoga, Studs, and Lip Lab Woo the Next Gen with Newly Opened Chicago Stores”, to discover other trends that shape how brands connect with Gen Z. As always, contact us to discuss innovative and imaginative ways your brand can reach new audiences.

Maddie McBride

Maddie is an analyst on the consumer insights and innovation team at McMillanDoolittle, supporting quantitative and qualitative primary research methodologies, business analysis, strategic planning, and new concept, format and product development. She brings recent expertise in human-centered design, creative workshop facilitation, and statistical analysis to her project work. Maddie received her BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

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