Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Chanel's exclusivity keeps it a cut above

From the CNN Wire Staff
November 8, 2012 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
  • Founded by Garbrielle "Coco" Chanel in 1909, today the French fashion house is a global brand
  • Luxury good brands are looking to take advantage of an expanding middle class in China
  • But Chanel has kept its footprint in Shanghai, one of the world's most populous cities, light
  • It has opened just three boutiques to keep brand exclusivity

(CNN) -- Shanghai may be a target for many luxury brands but Chanel, famous for its simple and elegant designs, is keeping its footprint on the city light.

Founded by Garbrielle "Coco" Chanel in 1909, the fashion house redefined outfits for women with its timeless outfits.

Today the French label house is recognized as a pioneer of tailored and ready-to-wear collections.

But it has been careful not to overwhelm markets, choosing instead to focus on brand exclusivity.

Chanel's president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, said such exclusivity is the best way to ensure customers keep coming back for more.

Chanel has opened just three boutiques in Shanghai -- one of the world's most populous cities. Pavlovsky told CNN: "We try to get the best three boutiques in Shanghai instead of having 10 boutiques."

That, he said, is the "number one" priority. "We try to bring through the boutiques the best value of the brand... our idea is not to open lots of boutiques but be able to give, through the existing one, the best value and the best service to our customers."

China -- with a population of approximately 1.3 billion people -- is a focus for luxury brands due to its expanding middle classes. Its growth comes as consumer spending in Europe and the U.S. dwindles.

Pavlovsky said customers in China are "experts of the fashion world, they know everything, every detail and at the end of the day what they want is the same product that we are selling here in Paris or London."

The company remains privately held and Pavlovsky says the absence of shareholders eases the pressure on Chanel.

"It gives us the possibility to put more focus on the company 20 years from now... and even increase the attractiveness to our consumers," he said.

CNN's Oliver Joy contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.