Images by Tim Franco
To that end, Chanel has just opened its first new boutique since Herr Lagerfeld’s death, its tenth in South Korea. Of course, we have been known to visit for the K-Pop and the bibimpap, but a visit to this luxurious new Seoul flagship – located in the prestigious Cheongdam-dong neighborhood – will now be de rigueur.
From the imagination of New York architect, visual provocateur and long-time Chanel collaborator Peter Marino, the newly-built seven-story structure is encased in sleek black glass and lava stone. Seemingly impenetrable by light, the exterior imitates the glossy surface of a coveted Chanel shopping bag, while the interior holds all of its delights.
Once inside, sunlight floods the bright white and ivory space, which spectacularly frames the exquisite creations on display. The three lower floors are dedicated to ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, costume jewelry and eyewear – along with a selection of fragrances and a dedicated space for watches and fine jewelry. The fourth floor is reserved for private receptions, and the two upper floors and an outdoor terrace are for special events and exhibitions.
In the Chanel tradition, art plays a vital role in defining the aesthetic. Thirty-one works by high-profile contemporary artists were selected by Marino to underline the boutique’s design manifesto, including pieces by Pablo Reinoso and Paola Pivi commissioned specifically for the project. Celebrated Korean artists Lee Bul, Ik-Joong Kang and Lee Ufan are also notably represented.