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Chanel Unveils Remodeled Dallas Boutique, Doubling Size of the Footprint

Chanel is thinking big in Dallas.

On Friday, the brand will reopen its remodeled Dallas boutique, a 6,500-square-foot store designed in partnership with Peter Marino, the New York-based architect and longtime Chanel collaborator. The boutique features more space for its fashion, watches and fine jewelry, and fragrance and beauty.

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Designed to feel like a private residence, the store is an homage to the rich decorating style of Gabrielle Chanel and her apartment on rue Cambon in Paris. The two-story space blends modernity and history, French savoir-faire and textures and colors inspired by the vibrancy of Texas. The previous store, which spanned one floor and 3,400 square feet, had been closed 17 months during construction.

The new boutique is located within Highland Park Village, built in the 1930s in the Spanish Mediterranean style. Contrasting the traditional terracotta and stucco facade of the building, the boutique’s interior has serene neutral tones and accents of pink, gold and yellow.

Handbags and accessories salons on the ground floor.
Handbags and accessories salons on the ground floor.

“I think what’s so amazing about Dallas is that for us, it’s been a market that’s had a long-standing appetite for luxury and a strong appreciation for our savoir-faire, creativity and deep understanding of luxury in general,” said Rebekah McCabe, general manager, fashion at Chanel, in a telephone interview. “We’ve always had a loyal and strong client there. The ability to come back and double the size of our presence with this luxurious and dynamic offering is very exciting for us.”

Chanel has had a long-standing relationship with the Dallas market. In 1957, Gabrielle Chanel received the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in Dallas, and the first Highland Park Chanel boutique opened in 1986, which was its fourth store in the U.S. In 1987, the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas celebrated its 75th anniversary by organizing an event that included a Chanel luncheon and a show featuring Karl Lagerfeld’s designs. In 1992, Chanel boutiques opened at Neiman Marcus Dallas and Houston. In 1998, the Chanel Houston boutique opened and in 2013, the Metiers D’Art 2014/2014 Paris-Dallas collection was presented at Dallas Fair Park.

McCabe expects the new Chanel boutique will appeal to the local customer as well as tourists.

The Dallas market is very important to the overall company. “We have a very stable boutique landscape and we try to really offer incredible experience within each of our points-of-sale,” she said. She declined to give a first-year projection for the renovated Dallas store.

In a separate interview, Marino said that he was working on the Dallas store when the Beverly Hills Chanel store opened and a group of 10 Dallas women, “who are Chanel-Peter Marino groupies,” flew from Dallas to Beverly Hills for Chanel’s Rodeo Drive opening. “They were so so nice and one of them said, ‘I sure hope the one you do in Dallas is going to be this good,'” said Marino.

“Frankly,” he said, “it hadn’t originally been budgeted at the same price per square foot as the L.A. store was. I went back to the powers-that-be in North America, and I said there are some well-heeled, very good taste, very glamorous clients in Dallas, I think I need a few extra dollars. We went to the owner and got a significant bump up and now it’s filled with beautiful art and bronze boxes, much better furniture and it will be at the level of Beverly Hills, I’m happy to say.

“People make a difference, and I was just anonymously designing, and I hadn’t gone down there, and then I got really interested. I promised Joyce Green [managing director of Chanel France] I would go to the opening in Dallas because these ladies were so kind,” said Marino. He said it’s opening soft and there’s a private party and dinner in April. “If they can fly to L.A., I can fly to Dallas,” he said.

Marino noted that the project took about 15 months. “There were big structural changes because of the staircase. It was kind of a big construction project,” he said.

The new boutique houses nine individual salons, each area defined by custom plaster walls treated in pearlescent and matte finishes, hand-painted with lacquer, and upholstered with textiles.

The boutique’s ground floor is appointed with five salons. Upon entering the matte black granite entryway that features a Marino-designed bronze commode are to the left and right handbags and accessories, with custom-woven rugs in ivory and black stripes.

“You’ll see a beautiful pedestal full of mannequins and a kind of sexy staircase like I normally do,” said Marino. The color scheme is white, black, beige and gold.

Just beyond that are two more salons dedicated to handbags and accessories and an assortment of fine jewelry and watches. At the back of the boutique, a gold and polished black room is dedicated to fragrance and beauty. Next to this last salon, an elevator with acid-etched black doors and an interior finished in ivory, black and gold crackled lacquer leads to the second level.

Channeling the personality of Gabrielle Chanel’s private apartments, the boutique’s second level is layered with more color and texture. Three of the salons are reserved for ready-to-wear while one is dedicated to shoes.

The rtw salons feature a mix of antique and contemporary furniture and decorative art, including 1950s Etere chairs by the Italian furniture designer Augusto Bozzi upholstered in custom fabrics; lion sculptures from the late Italian ceramicist Bruno Gambone; custom gilt tables from the French-Swedish artist Ingrid Donat, and a 12-paneled 18th century Chinese coromandel screen.

The try-on rooms have special decorative touches such as a 15th-century jade ceramic lamp, white and gold crackle-pattern tables by the British furniture designer Alasdair Cooke and Marino-designed Venini glass vases filled with gilded wood lotus flowers from the Meiji period.

In the shoe salon, pieces include two bronze chairs from the New York and Athens-based design studio Voukenas Petrides, a Peter Marino bronze box, and a pair of Chinese Sancai-glazed ceramic lions from the Ming Dynasty. These works are illuminated by a rock crystal chandelier by the Parisian goldsmith and longtime Chanel partner, Goossens.

“I like the combination of Chinese plus modern. On my big bronze box I’ve got two beautiful Chinese dragons [for good luck],” Marino said. He noted that in one room he put a beautiful Chinese coromandel screen in front of some very strong modern furniture. “That was her [Coco Chanel’s] thing to take a touch of very luxurious oriental things like a lacquered screen and put it with something super modern. I got that contrast in every room,” said Marino.

As for the artwork, on the boutique’s ground floor, at the foot of its sweeping Sivec marble staircase, sits a Peter Marino bronze commode and an acrylic block filled with oil, a commissioned piece by the Russian conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin. In the third handbags and accessories area, a golden glazed stoneware urn by Belgian sculptor Johan Creten sits on a pedestal, emanating light.

On the second floor, a chalk-and-paper work from the German artist Heinz Mack hangs in the vestibule. In the shoe salon, an outsize silver and gelatin print by the New York-based artist Vera Lutter is prominently displayed and in the fitting rooms, works by the Italian midcentury painter Mario Deluigi, French contemporary abstract painter and sculptor Francois Morellet and Creten are displayed.

The complete footwear assortment of runway styles retails from $2,075 to $4,125. The boutique will also offer Coco slingbacks in allover strass fabric in colors such as pink, blue and silver starting at $3,000. In handbags, the boutique will offer the famed flap bag with more than 28,000 embroidered sequins and 450 embroidered crystals, applied by hand. Other accessories include a large assortment of scarves and a limited-edition technical swim cap and goggle set.

Making its debut at the Dallas boutique is Chanel’s spring collection, designed by artistic director of fashion collections Virginie Viard.

Entrance featuring three looks from the spring/summer 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection.
Entrance featuring three looks from the spring ’24 ready-to-wear collection.

According to McCabe, among the expected rtw bestsellers are Chanel’s white embroidered ribbed cotton jersey top with a red-and-black striped calfskin skirt, an embroidered black silk organza blouse underneath a black glittered tweed black jacket, paired with white cotton canvas shorts, and a white knit top underneath a white glittered tweed jacket, paired with a white ruffled cotton culotte skirt.

Retail prices of the apparel and accessories range from $350 to $50,000.

McCabe said they keep in mind the city’s climate when merchandising each of their stores. “Each of our boutiques is ‘one boutique, one story’ where we really try to merchandise a unique experience per boutique. Every eight weeks is a new discovery of a new collection of Chanel. Throughout each of our collections, there are perfect things that are available for each climate, and we also know our client travels,” she said.

Handbags and accessories salon on the second floor.
Handbags and accessories salon on the second floor.

Assessing the total U.S. Chanel business, McCabe said, “Overall business is good. As you know, we’re looking to have healthy growth. We’ve all gone through a period of record-breaking years in the U.S., in 2021 and 2022, and now we’re looking to see the continuation of this through healthy growth.”

As for what’s coming, McCabe said a renovated Tysons Corner store in McLean, Va., will open in May, designed by Marino, and the seasonal boutique in East Hampton, N.Y., will also open that month. Marino said he’s designing “three incredible stores in China,” for Chanel. The Mistralée boutique, Chanel’s historic address in Saint-Tropez, will become a seasonal boutique designed by Marino and will reopen on June 5.

Launch Gallery: Chanel Boutique Reopens in Dallas

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