PARIS — After recently doing an encore couture showing in Hong Kong, Chanel soon will head to another luxury hotbed — Moscow — for a major splash.

The French fashion house plans to open its first freestanding boutique in Russia this summer, a 3,200-square-foot unit at 14 Stolechnikov Pereoulok in central Moscow. While the exact date for a soft opening is still being discussed, Chanel is planning a major opening event this fall, a house spokeswoman said.

Although Chanel has long had extensive ties to Russia, dating to founder Gabrielle Chanel’s famous friendships with exiled Russian intelligentsia and her romantic ties to Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovitch, the brand’s presence there is mostly in its beauty products. Fragrances and cosmetics are sold in 250 points of sale in 52 cities across the country, the spokeswoman said.

At the new boutique, designed by architect Peter Marino, Chanel’s fine jewelry will be available for the first time on the Russian market, although watches are already sold in a select number of Moscow shops.

About one-third of the street-level shop will be a showcase for fine jewelry and watches; the balance will be devoted to ready-to-wear and accessories, Chanel said.

This story first appeared in the April 11, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.