Balenciaga takes haute couture to Shanghai
For the first time ever, Balenciaga has organized an event in China and is presenting its haute couture collection outside of Paris. The Kering-owned luxury house launched a special initiative dedicated to the first haute couture collection by Demna Gvasalia in Shanghai on Friday. The event, which is set to run for five days, includes an exhibition as well as performances and even try-on sessions for well-heeled Chinese customers unable to undertake international travel.
The brand has moved into contemporary art collector Qiao Zhibing's Tank Shanghai museum, on the shores of the Huangpu River, not far from Longhua Airport, transforming the space into a couture salon by revisiting the same minimalist décor with long greige curtains that served as the backdrop for the haute couture show hosted by the house at its historic HQ on Paris' Avenue George V in July.
The brand's creative director has selected 29 looks from his haute couture collection to be shown in Shanghai and has also created one specially for the event. As highlighted by the label, this special outfit and 18 of the other looks are displayed on invisible mannequins, appearing to float in a vast circular showroom.
The other 11 looks are presented in a separate space. Private rooms allow visitors to discover the pieces close up, make their orders and have their measurements taken.
This is the brand's 50th haute couture collection and marks the line's relaunch last summer after a suspension of more than a half-century, following the end of house founder Cristóbal Balenciaga's activities in 1967.
The event appears to be an effort to seduce Chinese consumers on the part of Balenciaga, which boasts 39 points of sale in the country and is currently leading the rankings of the most desirable brands in the world.
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