By KATLEAN de MONCHY
Chanel is back for a second year at the shingled, two-story house on Newtown Lane, complete with a garden in back. It was lovely, airy, and it was jammed with shoppers the day I visited.
I was reminded all over again that Chanel’s most successful market is Asia. The fashion and fragrance company raked in more than $17 billion in 2022, up 17 percent. Up 17 percent. And that was not in the United States. It was in Asia. Chanel makes most of its money in Asian markets. More than Europe and the US combined.
The customers in the Chanel shop represented that. Asian women love luxury handbags more than the designer fashions. So handbags were slung on manikins, lined shelves, sat on floors. They were big, they were small. Some were quilted, or matched outfits. And if they seemed expensive, well, Chanel has increased its prices for 2023. The classic medium Chanel bag has increased in price by 60 percent since 2019. (And you thought the price of housing had gone up.)
There were lots of sandals, too. The shop is two stories, with changing rooms and lots of options including bathing suits and even a black Chanel surfboard.
I highly doubt anyone would buy a black Chanel surfboard, or use it. Perhaps ironically? Can you use a surfboard ironically? Maybe for a photo shoot? In a video? What do you imagine it will be used for…
But still with the handbags and beach totes and … well, at least it wasn’t cluttered. The black-and-white Chanel color theme was crisp. The occasional spot of pink made it feel just a little bit French. You could not avoid the interlocking C’s. But there was a big sofa to rest on.
People happily shot selfies and certainly bought merch.