The story behind the flagship store
Shopping at Chanel in 31, Rue Cambon in Paris is a very special and lovely experience. A dream for any Chanel fan. Not only is it a beautiful boutique, it’s Chanel’s flagship store with a special story:
In 1910, Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel opened up her hat shop at number 21 rue Cambon, in the heart of a very fashionable part of town. She quickly gained recognition for her talents and in 1918 she bought the entire building at number 31. It was here she invented the concept of the modern boutique when she began displaying fashion accessories and jewelry to wear with her garments and hats.
The boutique was on the ground floor, a reception room on the first floor was used to host fashion shows and gatherings centered around the very iconic mirrored staircase which led to her apartment on the second floor. By 1935, there were five Chanel buildings alone on Rue Cambon and today the couture offices are still in the very same place.
Shopping at Chanel in 31, Rue Cambon
This is my second time visiting Chanel 31, Rue Cambon, but my very first time buying a bag here. I own a few other Chanel bags, including this iconic classic and this red beauty, but none of them even resemble the one I had my eyes on. When this bag line was launched in early 2017, many bag enthusiasts were skeptical and didn’t think much of it. For me, it was love at first sight. Especially for one particular model and color combination. It’s different. It’s futuristic but classic, it can be worn in 7 different ways and it’s practical. Another new masterpiece designed by Karl Lagerfeld.
I knew this particular bag might be in stock here, but you never know as it’s a popular bag. Because it was obviously love at second or third sight for a lot of ladies who didn’t love it at first glance. So I went into the boutique with butterflies in my stomach and had to wait in line to get help as the boutique was very crowded. Mind you, it was a Friday afternoon at the most popular Chanel boutique in Paris.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait long, and a lovely SA came to my rescue. When I told him what I was looking for he opened up a door and I could see right into a dreamy rainbow of Gabrielle hobo bags.
You’ve probably guessed by now what I was looking for. Yes, it’s a Chanel Gabrielle hobo bag. A Gabby. It has been on top of my handbag wish list ever since it was launched. But before I reveal the exact version I chose, I want to show you some other Gabrielle goodies I drooled over at 31, Rue Cambon.
If I had a money tree I’d definitely get a few other bags from this line as well. The small hobo is super cute, but it’s too small for my needs. It was even smaller than my old medium Boy bag I had with me. I love the Gabrielle backpack as well. It’s a fresh update on the very popular backpack style that also looks great carried by hand. Love it in this wine red color.
But there was another Gabrielle that stood out, the perfect Gabby in my eyes. So perfect that I can’t even wait to share?
Shopping and Champagne
When I’d made my final decision and told the SA I was getting the bag (easy choice!) we sat down to wait for the bag to be wrapped up and placed in the iconic white box and shopping bag you only get in Chanel’s flagship store at 31, Rue Cambon. And since it was quite crowded in the boutique this day I also had to wait for an available cashier to pay, but to be honest I didn’t mind the waiting. Especially since we were offered complimentary Champagne while sitting down looking at all the beautiful bags, sucking in the busy but very special atmosphere only a Chanel boutique has.
Since this post already is a bit long I have to break it up into two parts. The next post will be all about the unboxing and reveal of my new bag, plus a video! The birth of my beloved Gabby deserves it all, LOL.
Everything is almost finished, so part two just around the corner.
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