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PARIS — French luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Chanel are in a Saint-Tropez state of mind.

This story first appeared in the June 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Following last month’s sunset showing of its cruise collection on the Riviera town’s picturesque port, Chanel on Wednesday opened a temporary store in an 18th-century house not far from Place des Lices — site of an open-air market and pétanque games.

The 1,300 square feet of selling space boasts an ephemeral decor in black, white, beige and red, a nod to the dark lacquer Chinese screens in founder Gabrielle Chanel’s Rue Cambon apartment.

The unit will showcase ready-to-wear, shoes and leather goods, starting with the pre-fall “métiers d’art” collection Karl Lagerfeld showed last December in Shanghai, as well as Chanel’s Premieres and J12 watch ranges.

Chanel does not operate a permanent boutique in Saint-Tropez, a popular summertime destination for the jet set. The temporary store at 25 Rue François Sibilli will operate until Oct. 3.

Vuitton, meanwhile, has doubled the size of its Saint-Tropez store on Rue Sibilli, and unveiled its new “villa” concept last week.

The store features an inner garden filled with Mediterranean plants and paved with Provençal briquettes to evoke the resort location’s legendary laid-back glamour, first made famous in the Fifties and Sixties by Brigitte Bardot.

Luggage, leather goods, men’s wear, shoes and resort clothing are all showcased in the two-level Vuitton unit, decorated with drawings by Paris graffiti artist and nightclub impresario André Saraiva.

Exclusive products include an oversize Neverfull bag that comes with a beach towel big enough for two.

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