Balenciaga sets course for Shanghai with Cruise 2025 show
Balenciaga Cruise 2024. ©Photo: Balenciaga

Balenciaga sets course for Shanghai with Cruise 2025 show

Demna Gvasalia brings Balenciaga to Shanghai for Cruise 2025, his debut fashion show in China. Expect bold looks presented against the vibrant backdrop of the city.
March 13, 2024

Balenciaga will present its highly anticipated Cruise 2025 (Resort 2025) collection on May 30th in Shanghai, China. This will be Demna Gvasalia’s first fashion show in the country, a strategic move given Balenciaga’s thriving presence there.

Cruise collections, for those unfamiliar, offer a glimpse of upcoming trends beyond the usual spring/summer and fall/winter cycles. They’re a chance for designers to experiment, to dream up extravagant pieces meant to evoke luxurious vacations and far-flung destinations. Balenciaga’s most recent destination show took place in May 2022, transforming the iconic New York Stock Exchange into a fashion extravaganza. More recently, Demna brought Hollywood glamour to the unveiling of the Pre-Fall 2024 collection, complete with collaborations with jeweler Jacob & Co. and grocery chain Erewhon Market.

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This year, a handful of top European brands are setting their sights on exotic locales, and Balenciaga’s choice of Shanghai is particularly noteworthy.

Why Shanghai? It’s no secret that China is an important market for Balenciaga. In fact, it boasts the most Balenciaga stores in the world, with the brand’s largest outpost located in Shanghai’s prestigious IAPM Mall. This isn’t Demna’s first foray into the Chinese market, either. Back in 2021, when international travel restrictions were tight during the COVID-19 pandemic, he brought his acclaimed haute couture collection to Shanghai and showcased it as the centerpiece of a five-day event. The move underscored China’s strategic importance to the brand.

Balenciaga sets course for Shanghai with Cruise 2025 show
The 2021 Balenciaga Haute Couture exhibit at the Tank Shanghai museum. ©Photo: Balenciaga

While Balenciaga has held shows in China before, in 2013 and 2014, they were under different creative leadership. Demna’s Cruise 2025 presentation is the first full-fledged fashion show in the country, making it a significant moment for both the brand and the Chinese fashion scene.

Balenciaga’s Cruise 2025 show joins a number of exciting destination showcases planned for this year. Chanel will present its collection in Marseille on May 2nd, followed by Gucci in London on May 13th and Max Mara in Venice on June 11th. Louis Vuitton and Dior are also expected to show their Cruise collections on May 23rd and June 3rd, respectively, at locations to be announced.

Read more: Chanel chooses Marseille to showcase its Cruise 2025 collection