Balenciaga Apologizes to Chinese Customers for Fight at Printemps

BEIJING — A four-second video clip of a violent scuffle involving several Balenciaga customers at Printemps in Paris has prompted an apology from the brand, after it fielded accusations that it discriminated against Chinese shoppers.
According to the user who uploaded the video, the fight broke out when French shoppers attempted to enter, bypassing a line of Chinese customers waiting for their turn.
“Boycott Balenciaga discriminating against Chinese. Really angry, queuing up and yet get hit by the people cutting in line. From now on, buy Chinese Li Ning [the sportswear brand],” the video caption read, adding that Balenciaga would not be able to sell its shoes if Chinese consumers stopped buying them. Since posting, it has been viewed over 820,000 times.
The brand apologized in a statement on Thursday saying, “The house of Balenciaga regrets the incident that took place yesterday morning at a department store in Paris while customers were waiting to enter its corner shop. The security staff acted immediately to restore the calm. Balenciaga sincerely apologizes to the customers who were present and reaffirms its strong commitment to respect equally all its customers.”
The poster of the video wrote that every day she lined up to buy Balenciaga sneakers, and on a daily

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Printemps Inaugurates Men’s Accessories Floor

PARIS — The missing piece of the Printemps men’s building, Printemps de l’Homme, is in place with the inauguration today of the store’s men’s accessories department on the ground floor. The men’s footwear space remains on the site’s fifth floor.
Measuring around 22,000 square feet, the contemporary Wilmotte & Associés-designed space features a light gray marble floor and wood and copper furniture interspersed with multicolored Perspex units.

A view of the new Printemps de l’Homme accessories department. 

The department boasts a number of brand exclusives and corners by labels including Gucci, Prada, Valentino, Loewe, Longchamp, David Yurman and cutting-edge speaker brand, Devialet.
Dedicated areas include urban leather goods, with items by brands such as Want Les Essentiels, Rue de Verneuil and Bonastre; belts, by specialist labels including Maison Boinet and L’Aiglon, and hats, with collections by Stetson, Borsalino and Super Duper, to name but a few.
The retailer’s Au Printemps Paris private label is also present across the categories.
Boutiques by Montblanc and Christian Louboutin will open soon.
Spotlighting brands specializing in artisanal know-how, a section called Le Masculin Singulier, or Masculine Singularity in English, showcases goods by 30 labels from across seven countries, with prices ranging from 50 euros to 3,000 euros. On display are leather goods

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Printemps Brings Uniqlo, Citadium and Maisons du Monde to Local Branch

REVAMP PROJECT: Printemps will turn over a quarter of the space in its five-floor store on the eastern side of the French capital to its sports and streetwear retailer Citadium, Japanese brand Uniqlo and home decoration chain Maisons du Monde, following a year-long refurbishment program.
It will be the first time Uniqlo has set up in a department store, said Printemps executives.
The upscale department store chain launched the broad restructure of its Nation branch last year after Agnes Girard, who has managed the store for nearly a decade, conducted a surveyed with customers.
“For around 10 days, before launching the renovation project, we approached customers, asked them if they were regular clients and for how long, what parts of the store they visited, what were their favorite brands and what they expected from these brands,” noted Girard, referring to herself and a deputy executive.
They then called in their top clients for a series of roundtable discussions, gathering more details about what they liked and what they expected from the store. With this information, the buyers were able to build up the offer, bulking up different price levels, from very accessible to higher-end ranges.
Anchored in its local neighborhood, the opposite side of the

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Nicola Formichetti Launches Nicopanda at Printemps

JACK OF ALL TRADES: Nicola Formichetti made a personal appearance at Paris department store Printemps on Thursday night to celebrate the launch of the first full-fledged collection for his label Nicopanda.
The line of accessibly priced unisex pieces is sold at the Maria Luisa store at the retailer’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship. In the U.K., it has made its debut as part of Selfridges’ gender neutral shopping space Agender.
“Everyone around me just wears boys’ and girls’ and just mixes it up. Now it’s going to be more mainstream, I’m super happy. The whole sexuality thing is all blurring, lots of trans people are in the spotlight. I love all of that stuff,” said Formichetti, who is also artistic director of Diesel.
The line features bows and ruffles inspired by Tokyo street style. “This is the side I don’t explore at Diesel, which is more my Japanese side,” the Italian-Japanese designer explained. “I love Harajuku. That’s where my spirit is, and Nicopanda was born in Harajuku, via London and New York, so it’s always inside me.”
Formichetti was heading next to the South by Southwest festival in Austin for a talk on Tuesday with Zing Tseng, digital news editor at Dazed magazine, about how he

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