a glorious return to new york city. we're talking balenciaga's new boutique in soho, following last year's forced closure of its chelsea store - the brand's only standalone shop in town - in chelsea due to the detrimental effects of hurricane sandy. it's the first retail space designed by alexander wang - since his tenure at the paris-based fashion house - in collab with best pal interior architect ryan korban, who also helped create the interior of the alexander wang flagship store a few blocks away. although there's a certain similarity in the aesthetic of the two stores, this one has a far more monumental feel due to its construction - a soaring skylight with a curving spine at the back of the store connects the triple height ceiling to the basement section - and the lavish use of green italian marble. spread over an area of 5,400 sq.ft. [502 sqm.], the boutique features various intimate rooms where different segments of balenciaga's women's collections is presented. a separate balenciaga men's boutique is to open across the street in a few days time. location: 148 mercer street [soho].