Chanel's Central Park Spacecraft

Well, we suppose it's more innovative as a marketing strategy than giving freebies to Kate Moss and Ashley Olsen: To celebrate its quilted chain purse, which has been around since 1955, Chanel is dropping a huge spaceship-like gallery in the middle of Central Park beginning in October.

Inside the Zaha Hadid-designed 7,500-square-foot "Mobile Art" pavillion will be specially-commissioned works by 15 artists, each inspired by the classic purse. In return, the Central Park Conservancy is receiving a donation "in the low seven figures." Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe defends what could be seen as a wanton act of crass commercialism: "Everything has a sponsor," he says, while Conservancy prez Douglas Blonsky promises that the location of the structure won't disturb people: "It's not taking over someone else’s space. It's a neat little surprise."

A 7,500-Square-Foot Ad for Chanel, With an Artistic Mission [NYT]