Balenciaga Opens First Standalone Store in Chicago

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Luxury fashion house Balenciaga has inaugurated its first standalone store in Chicago, Illinois. The new store is situated at 15 East Oak Street and spans two levels, covering 641 square metres. This opening marks a significant milestone for Balenciaga, known for its cutting-edge fashion and innovative design.

The store showcases Balenciaga’s signature Raw Architecture concept, which emphasises a minimalistic and unfinished aesthetic. Surfaces are left intentionally untreated, featuring rough edges and free-standing partitions that blend various materials. This design approach respects and exposes the existing structural elements, reducing the need for new materials and highlighting the building’s historical aspects.

The interior features vast brushed concrete floors that mimic sidewalk tiles, and walls composed of concrete or cement board panels, creating a seamless indoor/outdoor feel. A large-scale luminous ceiling illuminates key areas, including the shoe section, staircase, and fitting rooms. This lighting is further enhanced by suspended ceiling mesh, industrial lighting systems, and technical fixtures throughout the store.

The store’s design evokes a warehouse or studio atmosphere, with hot rolled metal tables, angel hair-finish metal shelving, and hanging pipe racks. Seating is upholstered in recycled leather, while underlit shelving, smoked glass panels, inlaid carpet, and high-definition screens add warmth and modernity to the space.

Balenciaga’s latest collections, encompassing men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, accessories, eyewear, and jewellery, are showcased in this new store.

This opening follows the launch of a three-floor flagship store in the newly rebuilt Toraya Ginza Building in Tokyo, inaugurated last month. The Chicago store continues Balenciaga’s tradition of creating unique and immersive retail environments that reflect its avant-garde design ethos.