“May my legend prosper and thrive. I wish it a long and happy life!” said Gabrielle Chanel; this is what we can read in ‘The Allure of Chanel’ written by Paul Morand in 1996. For sure, Gabrielle Chanel will forever be a legend.
Wednesday May 18, 2022 was a big day for the house of CHANEL. After one year of renovation, CHANEL opened its iconic address 18 place Vendôme, exactly 90 years after the creation of “Bijoux de Diamants”, the only High Jewelry Creation collection created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1932.
The spectacular three story building has been reinvented by Peter Marino for a second time. “It is definitely a unique and extraordinary boutique. There is no other boutique in the world like this”, said Frédéric Grangié, President of Chanel Watches and Jewelry on the day of the opening. “It is like a Venitian palace, it is simply sublime, there is no equivalent in the world”.
The flagship at 18 Place Vendôme is the heart of Chanel Watches and Jewelry collection. Under the same roof are the house fine jewelry and watchmaking creative studios led by Patrice Leguéreau and Arnaud Chastaingt, but also- this is new- the Chanel Patrimoine collection. “We wanted to show where we are today in the Watches and Jewelry, and of course to show all our creations” Frédéric Grangié added.
Star Architect Peter Marino doubled the size of the initial boutique and worked his incredible magic over the three floors. Great Marino perfectly knows the house of Chanel, expressing Chanel’s creation evolving over the years with brio. The result is an exceptional concentration of arts and métiers d’art with an extraordinary savoir faire and craftmanship which celebrate the private world of Gabrielle Chanel.
The epitome of Parisian elegance, Place Vendôme is the most familiar landscape of Gabrielle Chanel. The views over the octagonal shaped square during her long time life at the Ritz inspired her and inspired many of her creations like the watch faces.
Entering 18 Place Vendôme through its giant blue door is experiencing Mademoiselle Chanel‘s dreams. Inside, the decor plays magically with transparency, space and brillance. The boutique offers different perspectives opening onto different salons and levels. Gold, beige, brown shades of lacquered panels, tweed pattern carpets and rugs-made exclusively for the boutique- beautiful mirrors and natural daylight enhance the warm and intimate atmosphere.
The decor is contemporary, Peter Marino has freely mixed periods and styles: gilded bronze accents on the table and window frames, on ornaments of the Louis XIV and Louis XV offices and the spectacular chandeliers created by Chanel métiers d’arts silversmith Goossens.
In the middle of the ground floor, an ode to Place Vendôme, the symbol of the jewelry world, a spectacular nearly 3 meter tall art piece by Belgian Johan Creten: La Borne. “We had dreamt of including La Borne in our new store and we made it happen with Peter” said The President of Chanel Watches and Jewelry. About thirteen pieces of art are merged into the design and architecture of the store. To reach the upper floors, a sleek staircase with gilded bronze and crystal panels made by Goossens with at its bottom a stainless steel sculpture “Coco Chandelier” by Joel Morrison with a double C as a nose ring!
“We wanted to offer new experiences for our clients. We have space with ultra modern technology to communicate with our best clients everywhere in the world. “We are proud not to offer e-commerce, it is very important for us as we want to preserve human experience above all. But the digital experiences we are creating have to be absolutely spectacular” reported Frédéric Grangié.
The first floor or “étage noble” offers new spaces. One of them is very particular as it is the home of the 55.55 diamond necklace -not for sale- part of Chanel Patrimoine. A design creation which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Chanel N°5 perfume last year. Then, behind a door, Le Grand Salon. This long room with full length windows and painted beige silk curtains offers fairy views over Place Vendôme and is dedicated to private appointments. Inside, on a wall, a magnificent Nicolas de Stael oil painting “Composition” from 1950, a golden shine sculptural bronze armchair by Voukenas Petrides and a coffee table by Reda Amalou punctuate the Grand Salon without any artifice.
18 Place Vendôme is a journey into Chanel world’s creations. The codes, the colors, textures, materials and nuances of the French house are found in an ultimate luxury. Beige, white, black, gold are in harmony in the spaces, lines and materials. It is never ostentatious, always elegant, chic and discreet, the house of Chanel offers here a veritable temple of hard work, craftsmanship, exceptional métiers d’art creations combined with unique pieces of art and exceptional watches and jewelry collections. There is no doubt 18 place Vendôme is already an icon in the world of Watches and Jewelry.
Chanel has 55 Watches & Jewelry stores around the world, four in the United States located in Beverly Hills, South Coast Plaza, Madison Avenue and inside the Wynn in Las Vegas. “The US market is a historic market for Chanel and is part of our history” pointed out Frédéric Grangié. 2023 will be another big year. “We will open the most extraordinary Chanel boutique in Rodeo Drive and a flagship in New York on 5th Avenue”. We can’t wait to see what Peter Marino and Chanel will reveal.