The other day I mentioned that I was going to visit the temple of Balenciaga aka the flagship store in Paris on 10, avenue George V. Well, it was a good thing I copied down the address properly, because I nearly missed it.
I nearly thought it was renovating and left, because all I saw was the huge Balenciaga ad next door from a distance. It turns out that the flagship store is indeed opened. It’s just that the only sign that indicates the flagship store is the many Balenciaga bags sitting by the window. Talk about discrete!
On a mission I headed straight for the clutches and with the help of the SA went over and over again the drawers that hold the envelop clutches (they don’t like it when you try to go through the drawers yourself!). I’d had my heart set on a beige or grey colored one, but sadly they really didn’t have that many colors. Instead of a battle between which one to get, it was more of a process of elimination and I quickly picked out the color that I liked most out of the lot. This blue storm color is probably the closest to grey I’m going to get. Luckily, I have a lot of blue clothes so I am currently loving it!
Determined for something beige, I took a look at the rest of the bags. But alas, the closest it came was a huge beige part time or a chestnut colored covered city. I hear that there are more choices in NYC. The only good thing about getting it in its motherland is that it truly is cheaper than it is anywhere else. With the tax refund, it is at least 13% cheaper. Who knows how much more it will be with the falling euro!
But Balenciaga fans beware. You are only allowed 2 bags per person per season. This applies to all Balenciaga stores in Paris (I checked with the counter at Lafayette too). Clearly they are not desperate for business and frankly, you can tell. Even though they were perfectly polite, I’ve never encountered such snobby and condescending SAs before. Not even at Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Hermes, where they have reason to be with the great flood of tourists there all the time. As much as I love my bags, I don’t think I’ll be visiting this flagship store again the next time I come back. It is totally not worth the cab fare. I can get my seasonal dosage of Balenciaga at the Lafayette counter with a lot less attitude.