Balenciaga to open a couture boutique in Paris
Balenciaga is to open a path-breaking boutique fully devoted to couture next week in Paris, on the day of the house’s 51st couture show, on Wednesday, July 6.
Designed by the house’s creative director, Georgian-born creative director Demna, the ground-floor boutique will be located at 10 Avenue George V, which is where founder Cristobal Balenciaga opened his original couture location, back in 1937.
“Couture is where Balenciaga comes from. As a brand it’s where it all started. When I realized how Demna had put Balenciaga back in its rightful place with our first couture show, I immediately felt this was a unique chance. Not to rewrite history but to reinvent the haute couture history of Balenciaga,” explained Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit.
Last July, Demna relaunched Balenciaga into couture, with an acclaimed show in the upper floors of the same building, returning the house to couture after a 53-year break, dating to when Cristobal shuttered his business in response to the 1968 student and worker revolt in Paris. Known for his majestic sense of silhouette, unique fabrics and elegant sense of grandeur, Balenciaga is generally ranked as one of the half dozen greatest designers in fashion history.
“Haute couture is another craft we want to invest in. It’s an important expression of how we do things at Balenciaga. We realized after last year’s show how important couture was to the house. But we hadn’t realized how much demand there was for more unique product, services and ideas,” added Charbit.
Charbit stressed that Demna’s store design for the 250-square-meter space “will be a big contrast compared to traditional couture houses, with far more modern and radical architecture.”
The store will retail clothing, accessories, eyewear and exceptional objects, highlighting craft. It won’t contain any elements of ready-to-wear. All products are limited edition and can be personalized or altered in the upstairs ateliers.
“Ready-to-wear is made by machine. Everything in this store will be made by hand,” the CEO enthused.
The Couture Store is designed to display Balenciaga’s know-how and welcome customers who want rare and unique products. The ground floor location will be composed of two spaces, one for women and one for men, both connected to the couture salons above. The store for will be open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and by appointment on Mondays and Saturdays.
Charbit sees the store attracting both existing and new clients.
“Lots of our clients have expressed the need for couture since the first collection of Demna. We believe there is great potential and see classic couture clients from elsewhere who are interested. We have also noticed that couture is equally attractive to men and women. We see this as an opportunity to offer stories, ideas and made-in-France savoir-faire to clients. A space where the best possible service is available with rare and unique products, for High Net Worth Individuals - people with zero restraint when it comes to price. This is one-of-a-kind and the historical address,” he concluded.
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