The Museum of Ice Cream extends its lifeline with a limited-edition Sephora collab and permanent San Francisco location.

What happened

  • The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC), the highly-Instagrammable immersive experience launched in 2016 in New York and then brought to LA, San Francisco and Miami, is collaborating with Sephora and making its San Francisco location a permanent fixture. In September 2018, the beauty retailer and MOIC launched a makeup collection online and in stores, offering six limited-edition products including a popsicle-shaped eyeshadow palette and sprinkle-filled brushes.

Why it matters

  • The Museum of Ice Cream was one of the forerunners of the contemporary experience economy, along with other concepts like Dream Machine and Refinery29’s 29Rooms. But similar to escape rooms, which also flourished around the same time, these experience-driven spaces have restricted lifecycles, and few have sought out or successfully cultivated ways to extend their relevance beyond a one-time experience. In fact, many have leaned into these ephemeral, scarcity-driven models, cropping up in a city for only a few months, which engenders FOMO among consumers and reels in long lines.
  • MOIC has risen above the rest, fostering various ways to prevent its ice cream from melting. In June 2018, it premiered a partnership with Target, creating vibrant apparel and accessories through the retailer’s Art Class kidswear private-label brand. Then Target helped MOIC launch The Pint Shop, an interactive space in New York City and a one-off of the original Museum of Ice Cream experience. In July, Target also began selling seven premium ice cream flavors made in partnership with MOIC. With Sephora, the Museum of Ice Cream brought its core essence to life again, deftly productizing its experience and introducing its brand to the beauty space and new consumers. Though limited-edition, the products themselves keep MOIC alive, beyond the one-time experience at the museum or a single post on Instagram. Collabs like these will become all the more necessary to build hype for the brand in the long term, especially now that MOIC is a main fixture of San Francisco.