The wait was long, and the wait was worth it. Taking at least 10 years to complete, and after three years of construction, Chanel’s stunning new Beverly Hills flagship has opened at 400 N. Rodeo Drive. At 30,000 square feet, it is now the largest Chanel store in the United States and more than double the size of the previous Rodeo Drive space.
The May 5 opening comes just a few days later Chanel sponsored the Karl Lagerfeld-themed Met Gala, where everyone from house ambassadors Kristen Stewart, Jennie van Blackpink, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz and Margot Robbie to Lizzo, Dua Lipa and Kendrick Lamar wore the house designs. And in just a few days, on May 10, creative director Virginie Viard will showcase the Chanel 2024 Cruise collection at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, marking only the second time it’s hosted a runway show in LA (the first being a Lagerfeld show at Santa Monica Airport in 2007.)
In the midst of these two big events, Chanel is foregoing a smashing opening party at its new location. You don’t have to: the four-story store is a star in its own right, starting with the massive pearl necklace-inspired sculpture that descends from the third floor almost to ground level in the mega-boutique’s central atrium. Designed by Jean-Michel Othoniel and titled “Golden Lasso,” the artwork is a testament to one of the house’s most enduring signatures, pearls, loved by founder Coco Chanel (whose photo hangs nearby) and then creatively embraced by Lagerfeld and Viard.
Designed by architect Peter Marino, the building is a glossy white and remarkably minimalist, an additional crystallized glass shield for what lies within. That content includes a first floor devoted to Chanel’s fine jewelry and watches — including pieces from the 1932 high-jewelry 90th anniversary collection — as well as handbags and other accessories, fragrances, and makeup.
The second floor is filled with shoes and ready-to-wear from Viard’s spring-summer 2023 collection. Inspired by the 1961 French New Wave film by Alain Resnais Last year at Marienbad (for which Coco Chanel designed costumes), the spring pieces include tweedy looks in pastel shades, light suit options, cardigan jackets, short jacket dresses and evening dresses in fabrics such as gold velvet pan, white lace and light black chiffon.
Higher up, on floor three, are two VIP suites and dressing rooms, while the top floor is dedicated to a 250 square meter terrace and a private penthouse suite, also reserved for private meetings with clients. The store’s atrium also gives way at the back of the building to a three-story glass-walled courtyard garden.
“We cleaved the center to create a three-story glass atrium that brings light directly into the space,” said to Marino WWD about the architectural design. “Straight through is a semi-open courtyard with a sculpture by François-Xavier Lalanne. The green space serves as a landmark for each floor.”
It took a lot of time and money to free up that much space on Rodeo. According to WWDChanel first bought the former Lladro building in 2013 for $100 million, and two years later paid $152 million for its own building, which it had rented, to join the two lots.
There is a luxurious catering atmosphere throughout the store, with inviting seating areas and cushions and accents in woven textiles. A furniture tableau features a pair of gold-and-black lacquered Edo period Japanese Kurodana cabinets next to a modern Ingrid Donat coffee table. In addition to the pearl chandelier in the atrium, there are works of art throughout the space, including a poppy-themed piece commissioned by Israeli artist Michal Rovner and works by Gary Simmons, Vik Muniz, and Mary Corse.
Chanel is also celebrating its new flagship with a range of exclusive boutiques, including two Chanel Le Vernis nail colors (Fast Car red and Denim blue); a jewel-rich capsule collection, including the “Lucky Star” double ring with jewels inspired by Hollywood’s Walk of Fame; a white gold Beverly Hills edition Monsieur timepiece with a deep blue grand-feu enamel dial and jumping hour and retrograde minute markers; and limited edition butterfly sunglasses.