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Sarah Burchett

Balenciaga, 542 W. 22nd St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-206-0872

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What’s that hole you’re standing in?
It’s like a crater. There are real rocks and fake rocks in the store—things that are man-made but meant to look natural. It has to do with the way that Nicolas Ghesquière perceives things, I think.

Do you have androgynous customers?
Some. And some very thin men will buy women’s jackets.

If you could curate the Balenciaga retrospective at the Louvre next year, who would you include?
Ettore Sottsass, who did our rubber sponge armchairs—they look like tree bark. And Piero Gilardi, who did the rocks, which make a crushing noise when you move them.

How many motorcycle bags have you sold so far this season?
So many, I couldn’t even tell you.

Can you spot a knockoff?
Yes, easily. I’ve made up fake names for them.

Like?
The Twinny is one that is a weird lunch-pail shape.

Have you ever called out a phony?
It’s hard to keep your mouth shut. If someone comes in and wants a repair, then I have to.

Is it difficult to always look so interesting?
No. It’s in you or it’s not. I don’t think I can imagine not looking interesting.

Not everyone can, though.
It would be exciting to see more women digest Balenciaga. I’m from Iowa, and I get a lot of stares when I go back. Everyone thinks that I’m so crazy or weirdly dressed, but they’re in jogging pants and an Easter sweater.


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