Sleek, airy and abbreviated. The new Chanel store is as expertly packaged as the trendy shopping row it inhabits: West Hollywood's Robertson Boulevard. The boutique, which opens Friday, is the first in a new breed of smaller shops for the company that zero in on the season's trends and the neighborhood, a spokeswoman said.
The concept behind the mini store -- designed by Peter Marino, who is also responsible for Chanel's stunning Rodeo Drive revamp -- is to present a tightly edited selection of the season's pieces, including ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and cosmetics, similar to what a shrewd fashion editor might handpick for a photo shoot, said Barbara Cirkva, president of Chanel's fashion division. Merchandisers may focus on a certain color scheme or a trendy silhouette or handbag within the larger collections.
With Chanel's arrival on Robertson, the street's days as a quaint indie boutique district are officially over. (D&G and Ralph Lauren are poised to open soon.) But it's still the row du jour for young starlets and wannabes looking to get "caught" by the paparazzi. Chanel denies that the new outpost is an attempt to appeal to a younger crowd, but the trendy location and smaller scope do suggest otherwise.