Balenciaga Men’s Store Opens in Paris

Under the exacting vision of Monsieur Ghesquière, the Balenciaga man is becoming ever more intrepid. Case in point: the house’s first men’s store in Paris (5 rue de Varenne, 75007), just a stone’s throw from the company headquarters. The slick new space comes courtesy of Nicolas and French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, known for her graphic and stark installations (such as filling the Tate Modern turbine hall with metal bunk beds). For this latest effort, the two—who also teamed up for Balenciaga’s Los Angeles outpost—took inspiration from the deep-sea world of submarines. But no cheesy mermen or sea creatures here. Instead, the reference was distilled to a splashy yet masculine essence of line, geometry and color. The result is a luminous bilevel space, a studied juxtaposition between luxury and technology, featuring tropical underwater hues, a gangway-like staircase and a second level with lit floors. In its retro-futurism, the space embodies the core of the house and its aquatic adventures in materials, cut and proportion, as well as its sporty efforts, such as spring 2011’s techno dandies. We’ll be diving headfirst for those goggle-sunglass hybrids—no scuba suit needed.

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