Tuesday, March 30, 2004

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Chanel Couture to Open 10 floor Boutique in Tokyo:

Chanel Couture announced in Tokyo today plans to open a new 10 floor building in the Ginza quarter of the Japanese capitol. Richard Collasse, President of Chanel Japan, stated that the company had acquired an existing structure for 170 million dollars, which will be replaced by the new building. Three floors will be dedicated to a boutique, but the space will also include a concert hall, an exhibition area, and on the top floor, a restaurant managed by renowned French chef Alain Ducasse. Named "Mademoiselle" in honor of the the House's founder, Ducasse has previously said that it will not be a luxury restaurant along the lines of his other holdings, but instead a more casual eatery where shoppers can drop in without reservations.

Designed by architect Peter Marino, the building will be inspired by the classic Chanel tweed motif and will feature an extremely complicated façade constructed of glass leaves with a bee's nest in aluminum. Behind this design, which itself will be set in an extremely light metallic structure,700,000 to 800,000 diodes will be placed. These LEDs are to be controlled by computers with special software.

Even though Japan is currently pulling out of a decade of economic stagnation, sales of European luxury labels have remained encouraging.

- press release translated from the French by Timothy Hagy

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