Balenciaga Devotees, Meet Your Mecca-------
Monumental. There’s really no better word for the new Balenciaga flagship at 148 Mercer Street, in Soho. With its triple-height ceiling, curving skylight (a clin d’oeil at Cristóbal’s sculptural volumes), and green Verde Ramegiatto marble walls (an echo of Alexander Wang’s debut collection for the label), the 4,120-square-foot, two-floor store resembles a museum or a cathedral nave. The objects of worship: Wang’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, jewelry, and eyewear, each of which will be housed within its own distinct space. But if it’s grand, it’s intimate as well, with the ready-to-wear tucked away in the far reaches of the basement level. A low-slung couch and chairs upholstered in caviar embroidery, another nod to Wang’s first show for the house, lend the room the look and feel of a VIP salon. Wang worked with his friend of ten years, interior designer Ryan Korban, on the project, as well as its brother store across the street, which will sell the brand’s menswear. (Korban also designed the Alexander Wang boutique a few blocks south, on Grand Street.) “It’s thrilling to have created a new home in Soho, a neighborhood everyone in the world crosses,” Wang said from Paris last week. “From here, we’ll focus on a new statement in Tokyo next year; this is just the beginning, and I’m looking forward.” Above, an exclusive image of the new flagship. Wang will christen the store tomorrow night with a cocktail party. Both shops open to the public on Friday, November 22.