Before he even had a chance to think about his first collection for Balenciaga, Alexander Wang had to deal with the label’s new New York flagship. The company had signed a lease in SoHo in 2011 with plans to close its West 22nd Street flagship once that lease expired. Things got complicated when Hurricane Sandy left the Chelsea store inoperable barely a week before Nicolas Ghesquière exited the company in November 2012. But the turn of events created a blank slate for incoming Wang and his retail vision for Balenciaga, which is now ready to be unveiled.
The women’s store opens Nov. 22 at 148 Mercer Street, while the brand’s first dedicated men’s store in the U.S. will open directly across the street, at number 149, on the same day. It’s a critical move for Wang at Balenciaga, as the store is perhaps a more complete expression of his aesthetic direction for the house than he’s been able to express deliver in the two collections under his belt.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"