Balenciaga Says I Heart Paris With New Souvenir Shop Drop - Men's Folio
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Balenciaga Says I Heart Paris With New Souvenir Shop Drop

  • By Vanessa Grace Ng

Bonjour and bisou! Balenciaga loves the City of Love — and its new souvenir collection proves it.

Pop culture has asserted that the quintessentially Parisian experiences should include the touristy hotspots of Ratatouille-certified Eiffel Tower, or Mr. Bean’s Holiday spot at the Arc de Triomphe, or even the Pont des Arts bridge where Big and Carrie reconciled at in the Sex And The City finale. But ask any tourist that has travelled to the City of Love, and they will confirm that there is no experience that can triumph that of scaling Montmatre, the city’s 18th arrondissement. It may be home to the famed Sacré-Cœur, but the 18th encapsulates that ‘I Heart Paris‘ emotion so accurately, for the uphill roads that lead to the Basilica and the shops that line its streets.

It is exactly in the throes of the 18th that one will find a barrage of notorious ‘I Heart Paris’ slogan tees lining display shelves, or flashy rhinestone-embellished caps and jackets hung on storefronts — each one to say, “In case you missed it, here’s a physical geotag to remember your trip!” And it is exactly this sentiment of memorabilia that Balenciaga has based its latest Souvenir Shop capsule upon, going toe to toe with the city’s souvenir vendors with its own spin on vacationist apparel. A house response to the Olympics tourism boom (that is set to occur any day now) and the Euro-summer craze (a yearly affair) seems reasonable, especially when understood in the context of DEMNA’s appreciation of irony.

Yet, against the hordes of flimsy polyester-blend tees or fragile ceramic cups, Balenciaga romances the Parisian tourist with lambskin-crafted luggage tags, steel Eiffel Tower jewellery and heavy-duty cotton shirts — each one emblazoned with a declarative city slogan alongside the emblematic Balenciaga script. Other fun Easter Eggs from the maison’s capsule are the perfunctory city-branded soccer scarves, the lesser-known but equally-iconic landmark print skirts — a riff off the maximalist aprons and mini-bags sold at the city’s souvenir bodegas — and 3D baguette magnets. Because what better souvenir is there than a Balenciaga-branded one?

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