Balenciaga is on a SoCal roll.
On Monday, it unveiled a new venue at South Coast Plaza, the premier shopping center in Costa Mesa And then on Dec. 2, Demna will present the next Balenciaga runway show in L.A.
The new Costa Mesa outpost is huge, with more than 9,500 square feet of space encompassing two stories. It carries men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, accessories, eyewear and jewelry.
Its interior design is in keeping with the same “raw architecture” style unveiled in the latest Rodeo Drive store and elsewhere. Inside, surfaces are left intentionally raw, and there are added details that simulate corrosion or rough edges.
Brushed concrete floors resemble sidewalk tiles while walls and shelving units are paneled with stained and aged concrete. This creates the illusion of a liminal indoor/outdoor space. Ceiling grids, industrial lighting systems and other technical fixtures are exposed overhead. Aluminum tables, hanging racks and faux leather benches are made to look like warehouse fixtures.
In April, Balenciaga also brought this “raw architecture” concept to its new nameplate in Hamburg, Germany. The 5,800-square-foot space carries a wide array of the label’s offerings.
The architectural look, which uses fewer virgin materials, lines up with Kering’s ambitions to reduce environmental impact while respecting existing structural elements.
Balenciaga, which went quiet last year in the wake of an advertising scandal, seems to have resumed its brand communication campaign. In March, it returned to the runway with a low-key fashion show in Paris that concentrated on the “art of making clothes.” Balenciaga is planning to unveil its fall 2024 men’s and women’s collection in the runway show on Dec. 2. A location still hasn’t been revealed.
Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga founded his self-named brand in 2019 in San Sebastian, Spain. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, he moved to Paris. Kering acquired the label in 2001.