PARIS — Nicolas Ghesquiere plans to introduce his first men’s designs for Balenciaga for fall 2002, WWD has learned.

The French house, now controlled by Gucci Group, plans to show select retailers the men’s wear starting later this month in New York, a spokesman for the designer confirmed Monday. Instead of a complete collection, Ghesquiere plans to propose a small “wardrobe” of pants, jackets, coats, knitwear and other items numbering not much more than a dozen, the spokesman said.

Since Gucci Group acquired Balenciaga last July, Ghesquiere has often stated his intentions to do men’s wear for the house. Absent of his own designs, Ghesquiere wears such labels as Martin Margiela, Raf Simons and Helmut Lang.

As reported, the Balenciaga men’s store, adjacent to the women’s flagship on Avenue George V here, is slated to close later this month for a renovation that will see both spaces made over for women’s wear and accessories. The boutique, the only one in the world, had sold classic men’s tailored clothing under the Balenciaga label for years, but none of it was designed by Ghesquiere.

Balenciaga wholesales its women’s collections to retailers such as Barneys New York, Louis Boston, Maxfield, Jeffrey, Kirna Zabete and Neiman Marcus.

Balenciaga plans to show its fall 2002 women’s wear collection, the 10th by Ghesquiere, on the runway Feb. 13 as part of New York Fashion Week. Typically, Balenciaga shows its collections in Paris.

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