Thursday, November 21, 2013

Balenciaga’s Newest, Oldest-Looking, Store

With its dark green Verde Ramegiatto marble walls and a skylight ceiling covered with a lattice metal inlay, the new Balenciaga flagship in SoHo feels like it has been around for centuries. Alexander Wang designed it that way, working closely with his longtime friend and collaborator, the interior designer Ryan Korban, to turn the bilevel space on Mercer Street into something that felt like it had already stood the test of time. “I wanted to mix modern and classical materials to create a timeless space,” said Wang, who cited historic museums as inspiration for the store, his first as the brand’s creative director. The interiors are also a testament to Wang’s point of view for the brand, full of references to his debut collection for Balenciaga, which took place on a faux marble runway back in February. Even the chairs that dot the grand, open floor plan — which also includes several intimate rooms that each house different kinds of goods (ready-to-wear in one room, shoes in another, etc.) — have been upholstered in the same black “caviar” embroidery he applied to gowns in the fall 2013 collection. Combined with the sofas, they seem to beg shoppers to stay awhile. “I thought back to the time of the couture salon presentations in the Cristobal Balenciaga era, when clients had the luxury of time to view fashion in a leisurely way, but with an elevated sense of ceremony,” Wang said. 

The Balenciaga flagship opens on Nov. 22; 148 Mercer Street; (212) 206-0872.

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(via tmagazine)

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