TOKYO — Chanel opens its first freestanding beauty store here today in a bid to make buying lipstick just as luxurious as shopping for a quilted handbag.
The 1,506-square-foot store, designed by Peter Marino, features interiors in Chanel’s signature hues of white, black and beige; plenty of mirrors, and tweed upholstered chairs.
Located on the ground floor of a new shopping and entertainment complex in the trendy Aoyama district, the Chanel store carries the French brand’s full range of fragrance, cosmetics and skin care items. The same building, featuring a stunning asymmetrical glass tower, also houses other beauty tenants, including Bobbi Brown and RMK.
Richard Collasse, president of Chanel Japan, said the all-beauty retail concept should broaden the brand’s reach, especially to aspirational luxury consumers. Although he’s frank when talking about the depressed state of the prestige beauty market in recessionary Japan, he said it’s the perfect time to launch a new concept.
“It’s not a business decision,” he chuckled. “Because if it were a business decision, we would not open.” Although the executive declined to discuss financial details, he allowed that this is an expensive project in terms of rent, design and logistics.
“You want to tell the consumer, ‘Look, we understand that you are not coming, but don’t forget that this is what we are,’ ” he said, describing Chanel as “the ultimate house of luxury.”
To that end, Chanel isn’t resorting to discounts or freebies to drum up business — even in extremely tough times. “I know that if I were doing gift-with-purchase….I would have 10,000 people waiting, but that’s not how we want to be perceived as a brand.”
Although the freestanding store might be perceived as a step away from the traditional beauty retail channel of department stores, Collasse stressed that this is not the case. Chanel beauty sells in about 170 doors in Japan but could easily grow to 400 or even 500 over time, he said.
Collasse said department stores will continue to play a significant role in Chanel’s beauty business — also because rolling out freestanding stores for the category is not financially feasible. Chanel intends to keep the Aoyama boutique unique, and there are no plans to replicate the concept elsewhere in Japan. Collasse said he’s not aware of intentions to take it to other countries either.
Japan’s beauty market held up fairly well last year despite the economic crisis but that changed drastically in early January, when sales slumped in unprecedented fashion, Collasse said.
“This is the first time in history that we see such a drop across the board. I mean there is no brand which is untouched…so are we,” he said. “Honestly it’s mind-boggling. Even when you have been in Japan, like me, for 38 years and you think you know the Japanese consumer. As a matter of fact, you never know them enough.”
Collasse said he’s not aiming for an “explosion of sales” at the new store but rather looking to cultivate customer loyalty through an intimate level of service and pampering not available at department stores. He declined to give a sales forecast but said he expects the boutique to generate turnover at the same level of a top cosmetics corner in a big department store.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)