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NEW YORK — Displaying its flair for exclusivity, Bergdorf Goodman opened a Balenciaga boutique Monday in its Fifth Avenue store.

This story first appeared in the April 22, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Jim Gold, Bergdorf’s president and chief executive officer, said the shop-in-shop is Balenciaga’s first in the U.S., selling a combination of “exclusive items and dominant assortments.”

The 720-square-foot third-floor boutique, located next to the Prada boutique, is a bright, white, mirrored space with a floral carpet from the fashion house’s fall runway show in Paris and windows that overlook Central Park.

There’s a wide full-length mirror in the center, mirrored “iceberg” deco display stands and mirrored closets. The shop, housing the Balenciaga ready-to-wear, handbags, jewelry and sunglasses, was designed in a collaboration with Balenciaga to create a unique environment. Furnishings were selected from Paris and include black chairs from Guy Paulin and a white marble table by Gae Aulenti. The carpet and upholstery will be changed regularly to reflect the inspiration for the collection.

The merchandise ranges from a tank top for $225, to sunglasses that start at $330 and a limited edition gown at $15,750.

Among the most exclusive pieces are two limited edition exotic bags — a purple crocodile work tote and a “cherche-midi” hand-painted python shoulder bag.

Gucci Group acquired Balenciaga in 2001 after creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, who arrived at the fashion house 11 years ago, had transformed an almost forgotten brand into one of fashion’s hottest labels.

“We believe that Nicolas Ghesquière is without question among the very most talented and influential designers of our time,” Gold said.

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