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Balenciaga debuts its Raw concept at new Sloane Street flagship

The expanded space showcases new-season collections against the building’s exposed wires, air ducts and support beams

The interior of the new Balenciaga store on Sloane Street
Balenciagahas debuted its Raw architectural concept on Sloane Street

With the move of its London flagship to a newly renovated space at 103-105 Sloane Street, Balenciaga has debuted its Raw architectural concept, which preserves and augments a site’s existing context.

Artistic director Demna Gvasalia’s interest in the look and feel of diverse retail environments is at play in the expanded new flagship, which is set across 722 square metres and two floors. The aged façade of the boutique echoes the stonework of its neighbours, offering a sharp contrast to the large, glazed windows and industrial lighting within, and the sleek, backlit Balenciaga sign above the door.

Inside, the Raw concept sees the building’s inner workings exposed. Electrical wires, air ducts, and support beams can be seen through a metal grate that lines the ceiling, while poured concrete floors are stained and cracked, giving the impression of untreated construction materials.

A glass floor shows the rubble beneath and gives a glimpse into the building’s historic layers, while distressed concrete columns enclose an atrium-like area that highlights an unfinished elevator core (complete with spray-painted construction marks), and a blackened stairwell.

In contrast, soft, worn-leather seating offers relief to jagged-cut tiled partitions as digital video screens and polished aluminium displays are a counterpoint to corroded metal structures.

All of which serves as the backdrop to Gvasalia’s latest collections for men and women, including ready-to-wear, bags, accessories, objects, shoes, eyewear and jewellery.

Balenciaga, 103-105 Sloane Street, SW1X 9QX

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