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Balenciaga Is Opening First Store in India

RAW ENERGY: With China slowing down and saddled with economic problems, India is poised as Asia’s new luxury frontier — and Balenciaga wants to be a part of it.

The Paris-based fashion house, owned by French conglomerate Kering, is opening its first stand-alone store in the world’s most populous country.

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The ground-floor unit in Mumbai’s new Jio World Plaza showcases Balenciaga’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, shoes, bags, accessories, eyewear and jewelry.

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The brand said it imported its “raw architecture” concept, which exalts things like ventilation ducts and also deliberately adds simulated corrosion and rough edges.

In line with Kering’s ambitions to reduce its environmental impact, the raw stores “respect existing structures, exposing their inner workings and accumulated histories. The resulting stores inherently use fewer virgin materials,” Balenciaga said.

Design features include brushed concrete floors that resemble sidewalks, white walls, polished metal shelving, aluminum tables and industrial lighting. Faux leather benches are deliberately patinated to look like they’ve been used at warehouse parties for some time.

Balenciaga recently opened two locations in California: a second store in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive dedicated to womenswear, and a new venue at South Coast Plaza, an upscale shopping center in Costa Mesa.

It operates about 300 stores in the world.

According to news reports, the new shopping destination in the Bandra Kurla Complex showcases dozens of luxury brands and houses such banners as Cartier, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Jimmy Choo and Rimowa.

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