Having heard of this rule since way back in 2011, it came as no surprise when I found out it was being enforced for real. Yes, Chanel is now enforcing the one-bag-per-passport rule, the latest groan coming from a friend in Paris who was stopped from buying another Chanel bag at Rue Cambon yesterday when she had already bought one the day before at Chanel Galeries Lafayette.
To make matters ‘worse’, one is only allowed to buy another Chanel bag after 60 days within Europe, which technically rules out most of the countries we already head to for work or play. Apparently only a Chanel-Europe-exclusive ruling, and while I can understand most of the lamenting that happened on Facebook, it’s not really a bad thing.
Plagued with cash-rich tourists from the country that shall not be named, they plonk down wads of dollars and then purchase almost everything in plain sight, like moneyed locusts. And if you’re anything like me, the sight of empty, bare shelves is a tear-jerking spectacle, especially after the trauma of a post 12-hour flight jetlag. The other reason is probably to stop resellers from getting in-between the brand and the customer, ending up making decent profits marking up bags they bought in Europe and then reselling them in Asia; in the long run doing nothing positive for the brand’s carefully cultivated image.
Both of which are vulgar. Which calls to mind something Coco Chanel once said. ‘I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it.’
Vulgarity comes in different shapes and sizes, but is often found clutching coloured printouts with serial numbers in tow. In other words, I’m with Chanel on this one. Yearly price increments, on the other hand? Not so much.