Chanel will unveil its new ephemeral boutique in East Hampton, New York, on Friday.
The 2,500-square-foot store at 26 Newtown Lane is designed in a traditional gray-shingled Hamptons style and is reimagined as a Parisian summer fashion fantasy. It will remain open through Labor Day.
Spanning two floors, the boutique offers bags, small leather goods, accessories, watches and fine jewelry creations, and modern silhouettes from the Coco Beach 2022 and Métiers d’Arts 2022-23 collections by Virginie Viard.
“We have been looking at a place to do something in the Hamptons, and we’re thrilled with this location and really bringing the collection to life in this location,” said Joyce Green, Chanel’s general manager of fashion, in an interview.
The building is a landmarked site built in 1897 by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe, the renowned architect of Grey Gardens.
The decor is light-filled and summery, taking inspiration from both the Hamptons spirit and the codes of the house, including the emblematic black, white and gold color palette. Matte black painted floors and white walls are topped by tweed rugs, understated seating options and graphic accent pieces evoking Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s salon in her apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.
“It has a very Hamptons, home, beach vibe,” said Green, noting that outside the boutique is a garden that will be used for entertaining throughout the summer.
The second floor, which will be used for private appointments, is organized around central-facing creamy linen couches topped with throw pillows in white and gold Chanel tweed.
The first floor divides its focus between ready-to-wear, accessories, watches and fine jewelry, eyewear and shoes. Highlights include diamanté-trimmed suiting, loose summery denim, gilded tweeds and sleek evening options from the Métiers d’ Art 2021-22 collection, along with swimwear and cover-ups from the Coco Beach collections, as well as small leather goods, jewelry and sunglasses.
The Métiers d’Art collection, which was presented in December at the 19M campus in Paris, features three-dimensional knitting techniques, hand-spun gold embroidery and various glittering appliqués.
The Coco Beach 2022 collection includes lightweight pink and blue tweed, and summer essentials such as cycling shorts, leather totes and printed jersey bikinis.
A selection of bags such as the 11.12 and 2.55 is presented alongside the house’s latest creations, including the Chanel 22 bag, first seen at the spring 2022 rtw show.
The latest watches and fine jewelry have a dedicated space, where the J12, Première, Code Coco and Boyfriend watches, as well as the emblematic Coco Crush fine jewelry collection, are displayed.
The boutique was designed by Chanel’s global image department, which creates all the ephemeral boutiques. The Hamptons store is the fifth ephemeral boutique that Chanel has opened in the U.S. in the past 10 years, and this is the only one operating this summer. This is Chanel’s only Hamptons location.
Asked whom she expects to be the Hamptons customer, Green replied, “We expect, for sure, all our devotees and loyal clients as well as new clients who are spending more time out in the Hamptons. We like to go where we know where our client is, and we like to be there in an unexpected way. The population in the Hamptons has grown and this is a way for us to bring a unique expression of Chanel to our clients that are there.”
Chanel acquired the lease for the location in the spring.
“We tend to lead with the experience we want to create over the sales volume, so I have every expectation that it will be successful. What we hope the most is that clients discover a unique way of experiencing Chanel in this environment and have a wonderful experience. That’s really our most important objective for this ephemeral boutique,” said Green.
“We continue to see very strong demand across our U.S. locations,” added Green. Chanel has 24 stand-alone boutiques, along with some distribution in department stores.
Green said the company is not currently looking for more locations in the U.S. “We’ve been more focused on renovating and expanding existing locations, rather than looking for new locations.” She said Beverly Hills is their big project for 2023 (an expanded footprint on an existing location), which will open in the first half.
Green said they don’t do product exclusives but they do try to assort the boutiques with a “one boutique, one story” approach. “Each collection is bought with a location in mind so you may see more of Coco Beach, more knits and lifestyle pieces that will work in the Hamptons, but not as an exclusive product,” she said. In August, there will be a selection of the fall Act 1 Collection.
Chanel has invited employees from around the U.S. to staff the store. Some 15 employees will be brought to the Hamptons to support the opening. Chanel has arranged for places for them to stay “and enjoy a different experience.”
“We’ll have people who understand and know Chanel staffed in this location,” she said.
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