Chanel to Reopen in November
chanel
Chanel Spring 2010 Show, Shown October 6

After an extensive interior and exterior renovation, the Chanel Boutique at 155 Maiden Lane is scheduled to reopen on November 20, 2009!

“Chanel has been a part of the San Francisco community since first opening in 1988,” says John Galantic, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chanel Inc.

john galantic
John Galantic with wife Sasha Galantic

Mr. Galantic says that “This market continues to be highly influential and important to Chanel. The redesigned Maiden Lane Boutique is now one of the most beautiful Chanel Boutiques in the world and we are proud to reopen here in San Francisco.”

The 7900 square-foot, three-floor building houses Ready-to-Wear, Handbags, Costume Jewelry, Shoes, Watches and Fragrance and Beauty. With entrances on both Maiden Lane and Geary Street, the redesign unifies the unique, narrow space in a modern, yet feminine environment.

Debuting in the new boutique is the gorgeous Cruise 2009-10 Collection, which created a splash when the runway show was first seen at the Lido Beach Club in Venice in May 2009.

“For this new collection, Karl Lagerfeld broadened the inspiration Venice once offered Mademoiselle Chanel and conveyed the mythical place it has become,” says Barbara Cirkva, Chanel’s Fashion Division President.

barbara cirkva, chanel
Barbara Cirkva

Ms. Cirkva believes that “Through the fashion and accessories of this season, he took us on a journey like no other.”

The collection was inspired by the art of travel and the city in which it was shown one that Coco Chanel herself loved and was inspired by after visiting for the first time in 1919 with Misia Sert and her husband.

chanel cruise 2010
Chanel Cruise 2010

Mademoiselle Chanel discovered the treasures of Venice’s museums and its churches, and was seduced by the Byzantine gold adorning Saint Mark’s Basilica. The sculptures and paintings of lions, emblem of the city and Coco’s astrological sign, fascinated her.

Karl Lagerfeld also took inspiration from the “White telephone” Italian movies, silent screen Italian divas Francesca Bertini and Lyda Borelli, and the work of Carpaccio, D’Annunzio and Henri de Regnier.

In celebration of this exciting reopening, two looks from the Cruise Runway, along with an additional special handbag and shoe, will be available exclusively in the San Francisco Boutique in celebration of the grand opening.

peter marino
Chanel’s Global CEO Maureen Chiquet (formerly of San Francisco), with Peter Marino

In transforming the store, Chanel enlisted the New York architect and long-time collaborator Peter Marino, renowned for his ability to reinterpret a storied heritage with perpetual and evolving virtuosity.

With the San Francisco re-design, Peter Marino has created another new, yet viscerally familiar, expression of the Chanel legacy by inventively adapting the brand’s icons all the while heightening the sense of detail, material and craftsmanship for which Chanel is known.

From the outside, the two story windows on the Geary Street entrance unify the two selling floors through the presence of translucent, hand-pleated silk panels that run the height of the Boutique. The panels are back-lit with LED lighting to emphasize the soft pleating in the fabric. Upon entering the space from either street entrance, one immediately sees the centerpiece of the Boutique — a 25 foot tall glass feature wall, lining the stairs to the second floor. The feature wall is created from black metal and glass, lined in sheer gold laser-cut fabric, with white lacquer multi-level suspended shelves. This wall highlights handbags, shoes and costume jewelry, grouped to tell a story and provide a visual focal point for both floors of the Boutique.

chanel cruise 2010
Chanel Cruise 2010, Inspired by Italian Silent Film Divas

On the Geary side, one is led into the world of Handbags. Custom-created, hand plastered walls and an ivory cabuca stone floor provide a clean palate to highlight the accessory room. Clients can linger on custom designed stools, covered in a woven fabric reminiscent of signature Chanel tweed, at a black lacquer handbag “Bar” to take in the latest collection of quilted bags. Past the handbags, the center of the main floor is a raised area displaying a selection of the latest full selection of iconic Chanel watches, like the signature J12, in all its newest interpretations, and the Premiere Collection, including the latest rubber and diamond Premiere watch.

Opposite this side of the space is the Ultra Luxe Accessory display area, a gold Jewel-box with walls and ceiling in patterned plaster with gold leaf. A travertine gold floor highlights pieces created by the Metiers D’Art, the artisans who create the Haute Couture details that define Chanel’s iconic fashion and accessories. Jeweled and embroidered clutches, exotic skinned handbags and embellished costume jewelry pieces are seen in this area.

Towards Maiden Lane is a new Costume Jewelry display concept, the first of its kind created for Chanel in San Francisco. The display was inspired by Coco Chanel’s beloved Coromandel Screens, seen in her famed apartment at rue Cambon. This area features a floor to ceiling display wall composed of separate black and white panels, each panel providing a classic Chanel backdrop for signature chains and pearls.

chanel cruise 2010
Chanel Cruise 2010

Up to the second floor, the femininity at the heart of the brand is visible in a soft composition of fabrics and materials in the space. Here, Ready-to-Wear and an expanded shoe area mingle with tweed inspired carpets, custom designed for Chanel in San Francisco, in beige and white handmade silk and wool and horizontal striated plaster wallpaper in pearlized ivory. A custom designed tweed sofa in beige, white and black fabric is in signature Chanel colors, providing a backdrop for the newest Ready-to-Wear Collection, arriving straight from the runways in Paris. Custom slipper chairs in woven pink, beige and white fabric, offer a place to try on the shoe collection of the season.

As Karl Lagerfeld reinvents Chanel fashion each season with new silhouettes, colors and materials, Chanel in San Francisco will serve as the backdrop for a new vision for a Chanel Boutique.