© Chanel / Photography: Sam Frost

Having a presence on 57th Street comes with certain obligations, and Chanel has once again pulled out all the stops to fulfill them. The French luxury brand has operated a flagship boutique at this highly prestigious location since 1996, and with the latest revamp it has consolidated its profile in the Midtown shopping district of New York City. The boutique occupies the lower five floors of a 17-storey building – mind you, previously the store featured only three floors of retail space – which is entirely owned by Chanel, and boasts no less than 14,000 sq.ft. (1,301 sqm.) of floor space. The upper floors are used as the company’s North American headquarters and storage space.

But let’s go back to the redesigned boutique, shall we? It’s designed by New York City-based architect and longtime collaborator Peter Marino, and given its superb location, a true effort has been made to make it stand out, starting with the building’s façade. It’s marked by white printed glass panels framed by a thin black metal grid which references the brand’s colour palette and its emblematic tweed. The boutique’s focal point is a dramatic sculpture of an entwined necklace by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel that cascades down the centre of the four-storey central staircase. Specially commissioned, the 60-ft. (18 metre) tall sculpture is crafted from mirrored stainless steel and gilded glass beads, and is a firm nod to the pearl necklaces worn by Coco Chanel.

The artwork also hints the design codes that have been applied throughout the premises. The ground floor a number of distinct sections, each presenting a different segment of the Chanel collections against a backdrop of folded panels in dark crackle lacquer. At the watches and fine jewellery salon, the wall is punctuated by glass vitrines highlighting the merchandise. The space is illuminated by a bronze and crystal chandelier, created exclusively by goldsmith and affiliated company Maison d’art Goossens. The second floor is home to the shoe salon, which is accented by another striking Goossens chandelier. The salon features the complete assortment of the shoe collection, and also presents a selection of accessories and handbags. One floor up, the ready-to-wear salons and a dedicated space for knitwear can be found. Two additional ready-to-wear salons are located on the fourth floor, accompanied by a selection of accessories, timepieces and fine jewellery.

For the most discerning of shoppers, the fifth floor with its apartment-like setting is readily available for private shopping. To heighten the sense of personalized luxury, a curated range of works – some also commissioned, just like the Othoniel sculpture – by top artists can be found throughout the store, including two pieces by Ólafur Elíasson, photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and a light installation by Jenny Holzer. The renewed Chanel flagship store carries all of the brand’s lines, and to celebrate the reopening, a capsule of exclusive products has been created, including a limited edition 2.55 handbag and wallet adorned with iconic NYC-inspired charms and a limited edition watch. Location: Chanel, 15 East 57th Street (Midtown).

© Chanel / Photography: Sam Frost