At 19 rue Cambon – CHANEL’s newest boutique
The revered fashion house CHANEL has opened its newest luxury boutique on the street where it all began.
Paris has been CHANEL’s epicentre since the company’s foundation in the early 1900s, making its home on rue Cambon. This year, the luxury fashion house has solidified its place on the legendary street with the address of its second boutique, 19 rue Cambon.
It all began in 1918, when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel purchased a seemingly innocent four-storey building, 31 rue Cambon. What was originally a townhouse became so much more once Chanel moved in. With her art deco style and the addition of a fifth floor, thanks to architect Louis Faure-Dujarric, the space was transformed. The ground floor became the boutique, the first floor housed the haute couture salons, Mademoiselle Chanel’s private apartment took up the second floor, the studio was on the third floor and the fourth floor housed the haute couture ateliers. As time went on, CHANEL took over other addresses along the same street, including numbers 23, 25, 27 and 29.
This long and dynamic history with rue Cambon made it the ideal choice for the location of CHANEL’s next boutique.
The new boutique, designed by New York–based architect Peter Marino, was a lengthy but worthwhile process, with construction spanning nearly three years. The development of this boutique involved the restoration and transformation of three historical buildings, resulting in one space spanning 1,500 square metres. Making up the new boutique is the main building on rue Saint-Honoré, an 18th-century listed building, which has been joined with a former 17th-century convent and a 19th-century building on rue Duphot.
Throughout the space, design elements have been used to tie in to the Parisian spirit and pay tribute to the history of the luxury brand. Colours in the space include white and three shades of beige, along with black, gold and metallic notes, which are accentuated by the natural light that bathes the space. In addition, various materials throughout the space, including khaki woodwork, limestone and a combination of carpets, solidify the luxurious yet simple theme that embodies the brand and its boutiques.
This new space has been dedicated to showcasing the entirety of what CHANEL has to offer, everything from Ready-to-Wear to accessories, watches, fine jewelry, perfume and beauty. The ground floor displays the shoe, leather goods and accessory collections, as well as a vast array of beauty products, showcasing perfumes, makeup and skin care, each displayed in an innovative manner to reflect the history of CHANEL.
Moving up through the boutique provides a more intimate experience, with the second floor housing bags, small leather goods, costume jewelry and a selection of other accessories. The Ready-to- Wear collection can be found on the second floor, displayed throughout the three rooms that make up the space. On this floor, the Cruise, Métiers d’Art, Coco Neige and Coco Beach collections are displayed selectively throughout the seasons. Along with that, the final 500-square-metre space of the third and fourth levels is reserved for reception rooms.
The newest CHANEL boutique has also stayed true to Gabrielle Chanel’s love of art. In the original boutique, she displayed many pieces of contemporary and historical art, many of which were created by her close friends, an A-list of artists who included the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Luchino Visconti. This was an important element to bring forth into the new boutique, while ensuring it blends seamlessly into the décor.
As such, Marino selected 28 pieces by 20 different artists to include inside 19 rue Cambon. One of the most notable pieces within the boutique is Große Treppe (Great Staircase) by Gregor Hildebrandt, which was specially commissioned and reaches nearly 14 metres tall. Visible on four floors, it is constructed of cut vinyl records, steel and fabric, replicating a mobile perpetually in motion. Other notable pieces include a bronze sculpture covered with gold leaf, Odore di Femmina-Torso Plugs by Johan Creten, which can be found on the first floor, and the piece by Jerszy Seymour, Love and Hate, which is a pair of Murano glass vases representing a tribute to the black-and-white duo CHANEL is recognized for.