What’s Haute: Union Square

As the end of October draws near, attention invariably shifts towards the holiday season, which suddenly is just around the corner. For the early birds who want to get their shopping out of the way early, may we suggest San Francisco’s Union Square. In the September/October edition of Haute Living San Francisco, Kelsey Karp delivered the inside scoop about the city’s hautest shopping grounds. Featuring brands like Bulgari, Gucci, Prada, Van Cleef & Arpels, and more, Union Square is a treasure trove, even for those on your list who seem to already have everything.

And the Square is about to get a bit hauter, as the newly redesigned CHANEL boutique, located at 155 Maiden Lane, is scheduled to open to the public on November 20. The 7900-square-foot, three-floor building will house Ready-to-Wear, Handbags, Costume Jewelry, Shoes, Watches and Fragrance and Beauty. With entrances on both Maiden Lane and Geary Street, the redesign unifies the unique, narrow space in a modern, yet feminine environment. In transforming the store, CHANEL enlisted the New York architect and long-time CHANEL collaborator Peter Marino, renowned for his ability to reinterpret a storied heritage with perpetual and evolving virtuosity. With the San Francisco re-design, he has created another new, yet viscerally familiar, expression of the CHANEL legacy by inventively adapting the brand’s icons—all the while heightening the sense of detail, material and craftsmanship for which CHANEL is known.

From the outside, the two story windows on the Geary Street entrance unify the two selling floors through the presence of translucent, hand-pleated silk panels that run the height of the Boutique. The panels are back-lit with LED lighting to emphasize the soft pleating in the fabric.  Upon entering the space from either street entrance, one immediately sees the centerpiece of the Boutique — a 25-foot-tall glass feature wall, lining the stairs to the second floor.  The feature wall is created from black metal and glass, lined in sheer gold laser-cut fabric, with white lacquer multi-level suspended shelves. This wall highlights handbags, shoes and costume jewelry, grouped to tell a story and provide a visual focal point for both floors of the Boutique.