By  on September 9, 2010

NEW YORK — SoHo is getting another art destination, courtesy of Chanel.

After eight months of construction, the French house will reopen its boutique at 139 Spring Street Friday. It features several pieces of art that were commissioned for the location, and bring a sense of the historic neighborhood into the new store concept designed by Peter Marino.

Chanel took over the adjacent unit, which previously housed its luxury lingerie and swimwear brand Eres, and, at 4,170 square feet, the unit is now 25 percent larger. The boutique takes its cues from SoHo’s gallery scene, with a black-and-white interior that offers a sleek backdrop to a full collection of ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, sunglasses and fragrance and beauty.

“When we developed the Robertson Boulevard boutique, we thought of it as a one-of-a-kind concept that captured the gallery feeling of the area,” said Chanel Inc. fashion division president Barbara Cirkva of the Los Angeles store that opened in 2008. “There were so many things about Robertson that were successful that when it came time for SoHo, we wanted to evolve them.”

The store features a couture touch with hand-cut paper displayed in glass panels; an open handbag bar that will showcase a rotating display of the latest accessories, and a large, custom-made fragrance and beauty area. The sunglasses wall display is topped by a “Flying Eyeballs” installation created by artist Alan Rath. Peter Belyi was responsible for a twisted rubber tube light installation positioned above the watch corner. The rtw department, in the back of the store, is accentuated by an abstract piece of art by artist Gregor Hildebrandt, who used vintage molded records for it.

The pièce de résistance must be a giant acrylic white bottle of Chanel No.5 right near the Spring Street entrance. At more than 10 feet high, it comes with multiple video screens showing footage from Chanel’s runway shows.

“Chanel has been a part of the downtown New York community since first opening in 2000,” said John Galantic, president and chief operating officer of Chanel Inc. “We continue to invest in major renovations of our boutiques so our customer can be fully immersed in the world of Chanel.”

Karl Lagerfeld and his entourage — including Amanda Harlech, Virginie Viard, Baptiste Giabiconi and Sebastien Jondeau — are in town for the opening, which will be feted tonight. Alexa Chung will serve as DJ, and the house is taking over Spring and Wooster Streets for a tentlike LED structure that animates some of Lagerfeld’s New York photography.

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