It marks the brand’s fourth boutique in the capital and second in its so-called golden triangle, which also counts a store on the neighboring Avenue George V that Balenciaga said it plans to keep.
The boutique, located at 57 Avenue Montaigne, will sport the same metal-based industrial concept unveiled at the recently revamped Rue Saint-Honoré flagship in March, based on a clothing warehouse, and is to house Balenciaga’s full men’s and women’s collections.
In the Saint-Honoré store, clothes hang on industrial conveyor rails similar to those in the brand’s production headquarters in Italy. Adding to the factory feel of the space, ceilings are covered in aluminum foil, the changing room walls are made of cast concrete and the utilitarian benches are covered in synthetic leather. Other industrial touches include silicone changing-room curtains and long, aluminum tables for displaying accessories.
The Kering-owned brand, which has 115 stores worldwide, under its new chief executive officer Cédric Charbit recently revved up its management team for merchandising and retail development.
As reported, Daphné Cousineau, who has held key international sales roles at Céline, Valentino and Lanvin, was appointed president for Europe — a new position — and charged with overseeing the brand’s performance in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region for retail, wholesale and franchises.
Laura du Rusquec, in the role of director of strategic projects, was brought in to manage initiatives pertaining to the retail performance of the brand as well as oversee the alignment of its strategy across all of the markets and various departments of the house. Previously, the executive spent eight years in the role of director of strategy and commercial development of Kering’s luxury couture and leather goods division.
Alexia de Courcel, meanwhile, was named global merchandising director for Balenciaga’s men’s and women’s lines across all categories. Previously, she was director of ready-to-wear collections at Céline for three years and before that held merchandising roles at various other LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brands.
The executives will report to Charbit, who was appointed ceo of Balenciaga in November. Charbit, who has a strong merchandising bent, joined the house from Saint Laurent, where he held the roles of vice president of product and marketing, and worldwide communications director. He succeeded longtime Balenciaga ceo Isabelle Guichot, who exited for Kering.
Among other new retail initiatives, Balenciaga in the run-up to the Avenue Montaigne opening will soon take over the first floor of Colette for one month as the first in a series of monthlong takeovers with brands including Saint Laurent and Sacai. Balenciaga’s slot is scheduled to run June 19 to Aug. 5.