End of May 2020 WWD reported – sadly prematurely – that Miami’s Design District had definitely reopened after the initial COVID quarantines, and that developer Craig Robins’ vision for a destination characterized by major fashion flagships continued at a pace supported.
It’s been a roller coaster since then, obviously, with the citizens of Florida particularly caught in the political crossfire of virus regulations. But as we limp into 2022, and despite efforts by the Omicron variant to once again derail our attempts to return to normalcy, extravagant retail spaces are opening up again in major cities (Fendi in New York, Burberry in London, etc.). Chanel, in particular, is ending the year by just opening the doors of a spectacular new flagship in the aforementioned Design District, just in time to pick up those glamorous New Year’s outfits – although releasing this December 31 will again involve a some degree of social distancing. (Honestly, we highly recommend that you dress even if you are staying at home, as we certainly won that much.)
With its 7,600 square feet and two floors, Chanel is particularly ambitious with this one. Thus, the prestigious French fashion house could hardly have entrusted the project to anyone other than Peter Marino, their most distinguished collaborator, who also counts among his clients Dior, Armani, Fendi and Louis Vuitton. . All the maximalist impulses aside (it has a few), the facade is white stucco and interiors are predominantly black and white, with a decided emphasis on clothing – which is laid out with almost architectural precision. A grand staircase is partially lit by a dramatic skylight, which also illuminates the boutique’s open shopping spaces, allowing it to soak up as much of the illustrious Miami sun as possible.
The new flagship makes its debut with the Cruise Chanel 2021/22 collection and, going forward, will offer ready-to-wear every season, as well as fine shoes, handbags, eyewear and jewelry. Oh, and between leafing through the shelves, you can admire works by Chris Succo, Gregor Hildebrandt and our favorite German multimedia experimenter Vera Lutter.