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Bethenny Frankel slams Chanel as ‘elitist and exclusionary’ after she’s denied entry into store

Bravo star says she was allegedly turned away from Chanel store due to her attire, and returned the next day in head-to-toe Chanel

Meredith Clark
New York
Thursday 23 May 2024 20:53 BST
Related: Bethenny Frankel calls out TJ Maxx for selling fake designer shoes

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Bethenny Frankel didn’t hold back after she was allegedly denied entry into a Chanel store because she didn’t have an appointment.

In a video shared to Instagram on Wednesday, May 22, the former Real Housewives of New York City star explained that she had just landed in Chicago, Illinois, when she paid a visit to one of the French luxury brand’s retail locations. However, Frankel claimed that she was immediately stopped at the door by a security guard.

“I’m in Chicago and the man at the Chanel store opens the door like this much,” she said in the clip, using her fingers to make a smidge gesture. “He’s like: ‘Hello, do you have an appointment?’”

The SkinnyGirl founder noted: “I’m like: ‘No, I don’t have an appointment. I have a credit card. I have a bag of Garrett’s popcorn, a basic b**ch purse. Am I not allowed to come in at 3.54 on a Tuesday? Evidently not.”

Frankel claimed that she was “treated like an interloper” for not making an appointment to shop at the Chanel store, adding: “I didn’t realize we’re not allowed to walk into stores anymore. I don’t have an appointment. Gotta get a pap smear appointment and also to go walk into Chanel. No big deal.”

The 53-year-old entrepreneur further claimed in her caption that while she could “call one of my salespeople and get on this list” to enter the Chanel store, she was denied entry because of her attire. “I was straight off a plane in a sweaty T-shirt and not dolled up or looking wealthy,” Frankel wrote.

“There are several ways to convey a message and this way was rudeness and elitist and exclusionary, which is also a crime,” she continued. “In business, first impressions are lasting. I would never want anyone to feel lesser than, particularly from a luxury brand making billions off of people buying into the hype. Chanel is a beautiful brand with timeless classic pieces.

“Being kind to customers of all socioeconomic backgrounds is also timeless and classic,” she added.

The following day, Frankel returned to the same Chanel retail store in Chicago – this time dressed head-to-toe in the high-fashion brand. “I’m going into Chanel now dressed much differently than I was dressed yesterday. If they let me in because of how I look, Christmas is canceled,” she joked in a subsequent video.

The reality TV star wore a black collared suit dress with white buttons, along with a black Chanel purse, oversized black sunglasses, and a pearl-encrusted headband as she pulled up to the store. Frankel was filmed walking up to the front door of the retail location, where three security guards stood outside.

“It’s important that I mention that the three gentlemen outside (not present yesterday) were lovely,” she noted in her caption. As one man went inside the door, Frankel waited for him to return before she was granted entry. However, after the experiment worked, Frankel immediately turned back around and exited Chanel.

The Independent has contacted Chanel for comment.

This isn’t the first time the former Bravo star has called out a popular clothing company. In July last year, Frankel criticized TJ Maxx for allegedly selling fake designer shoes and condemned the retailer over the “scam”. She explained in a video that she came across a pair of pink heels, which were labeled Manolo Blahnik and priced at $869.

“These are coming home with me,” she said, before learning from another TikToker that the shoes were likely a knockoff.

Frankel revealed that she reached out to TJ Maxx about the allegedly fake Manolo Blahnik shoes and in response, the company told her that it “did not purchase this particular shoe”. The store then asked her to provide her receipt, which she said she didn’t have because she doesn’t “return things to TJ Maxx for the most part”.

While TJ Maxx ultimately told Frankel it would refund her the money she’d paid for the shoes, she decided to keep the counterfeit heels.

“I’m going to wear these fake counterfeit shoes with pride because I own them now, but do not buy luxury goods at TJ Maxx,” she concluded, before noting that the “original retailer is the safest”.

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