By Craig Patterson and Maxime Frechette
Iconic French luxury brand Chanel has unveiled an impressive bi-level retail space at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy on Ste-Catherine Street West in Montreal. It replaces a smaller second-floor Chanel boutique in the soon-to-close Holt Renfrew store on Sherbrooke Street West.
Included in the new Chanel boutique is an assortment of ready-to-wear, handbags, footwear, costume jewellery, and eyewear, as well as a selection of watches and pieces from the Chanel Fine Jewellery collection. Chanel launched its Cruise 2020 collection in the new Montreal boutique which opened last week — the company’s new Artistic Director of Fashion Collections, Virginie Viard, designed the collection following the death of Karl Lagerfeld earlier this year.
The new Chanel boutique spans more than 3,300 square feet of retail space on the main floor of Holt Renfrew Ogilvy – it’s more than twice the size of the previous Chanel boutique that was located on the second floor of the Sherbrooke Street Holt Renfrew. A new Chanel-branded facade with window displays faces onto Rue de la Montagne and is next to the entrance to the recently completed Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences. The main entrance to the Chanel boutique is from within Holt Renfrew Ogilvy itself — Chanel will be an anchor on the soon-to-be-completed ground-level luxury hall which will house many of the world’s top brands.
Architect Peter Marino designed the Montreal Chanel boutique. Custom fabrics, including chairs and furnishings, were designed by Mr. Marino in the iconic Chanel tweed. Silk and wool carpeting was created especially for the store. Textured walls were hand-applied in custom ‘moongold’ and coromandel tones. Ample use of black, white and gold create contrast between dark and light, according to the company.
Upon entering the new Chanel boutique, visitors are greeted in an atrium-like space with high ceilings. To the left of the entrance is a black-and-white accessory salon accented with gold, dedicated to costume jewellery and handbags. A vast assortment of products includes seasonal reinterpretations of the popular 2.55 handbag as well as the 11.12, Boy Chanel, Chanel’s Gabrielle, and the newly introduced Chanel 19 handbag.
To the right of the main entrance is a selection of watches and fine jewellery. Included are jewellery pieces from the Coco Crush collection as well as a selection of watches including the Boy.Friend, Code Coco, and the J12 styles which are showcased in glass cabinets. Above the display is a commissioned artwork by Hugo McCloud.
Two staircases lead visitors to an upper level area in the new boutique. The staircase to the left leads to a second accessory salon dedicated to small leather goods, eyewear, and other accessory categories. The staircase to the right leads to a shoe salon space that is adorned in gold leaf textured wall panels — a large assortment of footwear styles in the space reflect the latest styles ranging from casual to formal.
To the right of the shoe salon on the upper level is the ready-to-wear salon. Chanel says that the area was designed to make one feel as if they were in a private residence of a similar style to that of Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 rue Cambon in Paris. At the heart of the ready-to-wear salon is a sofa covered in custom-woven fabrics in black, gold and coromandel tones. A nearby club chair is dressed in dusty red, beige, black and gold. Three Peter Marino-designed tables include two blackened bronze textured side tables as well as a coffee table with an oil-quenched steel base and an oil gilded ‘moongold’ leaf glass top. A hand-blown Murano glass vase, designed by Mr. Marino, rests on the coffee table.
Two fitting rooms on the north side of the ready-to-wear salon feature artworks such as a canvas pasted with hand-cut paper by Fernando Daza, a camellia collage by Peter Dayton, and a black and white camellia triptych.
Chanel has had a presence in Montreal since the early 1990’s when the brand opened a boutique space at Holt Renfrew at 1300 Sherbrooke Street West. It followed two standalone boutiques for Chanel in Toronto and Vancouver. The Toronto boutique opened in 1989 at 131 Bloor Street West which relocated to 98 Yorkville Avenue in the fall of 2017. Chanel opened a standalone store in Vancouver in 1991 at 755 Burrard Street – after relocating to a large space at 900 West Hastings Street for several years, the boutique closed and relocated to Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew flagship. Chanel also operates boutiques at Holt Renfrew in Calgary as well as in Holt Renfrew’s Toronto stores at 50 Bloor Street West and at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
The main floor luxury hall of Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in Montreal, located at 1307 Ste-Catherine Street West, will be completed in the spring of 2020. Several boutiques have already opened on the main floor, including Tiffany & Co., Bottega Veneta, David Yurman and Prada. We’ll follow up this article with a discussion of Chanel’s recent expansion in Canada, as well as a feature on Holt Renfrew Ogilvy when it is completed early next year.