Alpine Aesthetic: Chanel returns to Aspen with seasonal ephemeral boutique

Image courtesy Chanel

Further solidifying Aspen’s reputation as one of the most fashion-forward ski towns in the world, Chanel has officially arrived … again.

For those longtime locals known to grumble about the luxury leaning scene and/or pop-up shop trend, Chanel’s roots might even date back further than yours. The French fashion house had a permanent storefront across from Gondola Plaza from 1994-2003, returned in 2014 for a special presentation at Casa Tua and in 2019, introduced the first iteration of its seasonal ephemeral boutique. Last year, Chanel had similar concepts in Capri, Marbeila, Bodrum and Saint Tropez.

“Aspen is a second home and vacation destination to many of our clients who reside primarily in California, Texas and Washington, and by opening the ephemeral boutique (here), we are nurturing (these) invaluable (relationships) as well as new clientele and offering them an exciting and unexpected environment to discover the collections,” Chanel general manager of fashion Joyce Green shared exclusively with The Aspen Times.

Over the weekend, I was graciously granted a first look inside, during which no less than 10 passersby attempted to enter the store, signaling the excitement surrounding the label’s residence in Aspen.

Image courtesy Chanel

Now open (as of Feb. 7) through April, Chanel took over the historic Benton Building — a 3,353-square foot space transformed to present its latest ready-to-wear, shoes and handbags, along with watches, fine jewelry and a selection of fragrance and beauty. Beckoning the style set off the slopes, the interior celebrates the heritage and timeless allure of Chanel — stark white walls, black display detailing, neutral handwoven rugs and creamy wool couches topped with pillows in signature tweed — with every element an echo of founder Mademoiselle Gabrielle Bonheur (“Coco”) Chanel’s apartment at 31 rue Cambon.

The second floor of the store is awash with natural light and presents Chanel’s Cruise 2021/22 collection, with a mezzanine level featuring the J12 watch in black or white ceramic, the Camélia and Coco Crush fine jewelry lines and the House’s fragrances, including the iconic Chanel N ̊5, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Downstairs showcases the Coco Neige collection, including all of the necessary accessories for an alpine holiday from goggles and gloves to skis and snow boots. Channeling Chanel’s playful irreverence, logo-laden separates in leisurely silhouettes and stand-out shades like sapphire, aqua and fuchsia are met with sleek black base layer tops and quilted puffer jackets — all making for a bold mountain look.

Also living on the lower level is the Fall-Winter 2021/22 collection, which debuted last March at Paris’ legendary Left Bank nightclub Castel. Chanel artistic director Virginie Viard explained it is a combination of two influences, “The ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to now.”

It’s already apparent that our hamlet of Aspen is the perfect second home for Chanel this season, too.






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