-by Caroline MacGillivray-
When the most venerable name in high fashion meets America’s most historic city, magic happens. On December 3, Chanel opened its newest retail location at 6 Newbury Street. Easily the finest facade in town, the new boutique is the second biggest Chanel store in the United States, after the Dallas location. The Chanel boutique had been in the old Ritz (now the Taj) since its opening in 1997. That store was 1900 square feet; the new, two-story maison across the street is almost 10,000 square feet.
Chanel Boston is not only a store, but also a museum. Thanks to an increase in retail space, merchandise can be arranged by color, purpose, or inspiration (at least one Chanel collection per year is inspired by a city; Dallas, Edinburgh, ancient Byzantium, and Venice are recent influences). The architect and interior designer of the new store is the famed Peter Marino, whose design credentials also include Louis Vuitton, Dior, Armani, and Fendi. Marino’s art in the exquisite interior pays homage to the symbols of Chanel such as the camellia, wheat motifs, and a full-wall display that conjures images of Chanel’s classic costume necklaces. (Marino threw in a rhinestone encrusted reindeer for good measure.)
The retail upgrade indicates that Chanel is beginning to take its Boston clients more seriously, as the brand now gives these clients more access. The boutique features fine jewelry, “exotic” (crocodile and alligator) handbags, and an expanded selection of evening wear.Instead of suffering the mindset that local shoppers must travel to New York for the finest fashions, Bostonians can find the best of the best right outside their doorsteps.
Boston, you look better than ever.