International luxury brands have formed a chic clique in Silicon Valley at the Westfield Valley Fair. Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, and Prada are a few of the high-end retailers that occupy the ground floor of this Santa Clara retail destination, further validating that there is spending desire and sophistication south of San Francisco. Here is a look at six of the 14 luxury brands you’ll find at Valley Fair, which welcomes CH Carolina Herrera, Saint Laurent Paris and Bottega Veneta this fall.
Not even San Francisco can brag about having a Balenciaga boutique as this is the first Northern Californian location—the 10th in the U.S.—of this French fashion house founded in 1914 by Cristóbal Balenciaga, whose protégés include now-iconic designers Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy. Dark green marble from Rome and walls of cut glass highlight the 1,680 square-foot boutique, newly opened in July. Its arrival marks just the third North American concept store for San Francisco native Alexander Wang, who replaced Nicolas Ghesquière as creative director less than two years ago. The store carries women’s apparel, jewelry, men’s and women’s shoes, accessories for both sexes, and perfume. Merchandise with exotic skins—such as Balenciaga’s classic City handbag in alligator—lure those looking for something extra special.
Two entrances, one from the mall and the other from directly in front of valet parking, take you inside this 6,500-square-foot-store beautifully designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. If you enter through the marbled mall entrance with the word ‘Prada’ spelled out on the floor, you’ll immediately find yourself surrounded by handbags on display of every size, shape and color. No wonder this store’s claim to fame is the largest inventory of Prada purses in northern California! The offerings don’t stop there, either. In its effort to carry a complete head-to-toe look, the boutique also hosts women’s ready-to-wear as well as items for men, including suits, accessories such as soft-handle leather briefcases, and footwear in this 16-month-old store that shines brightly with plenty of mirrors and dressing rooms large enough for any entourage.
Once a tenant at Santana Row, this iconic British luxury brand that dates back to 1856 made the leap to Valley Fair two years ago. A video flaunting the brand’s designs greets shoppers as they step inside this 1,516 square-foot boutique that features select items from Burberry’s Prorsum runway line as well as men’s and women’s outerwear, ready-to-wear, purses and accessories. Wander through various rooms, such as the Heritage room, which carries classic trench coats, iconic scarves and items from the Haymarket collection, followed by a separate area with the London and Brit collections.
Salvatore Ferragamo takes the ‘Made in Italy’ label seriously at this 3,155 square-foot boutique, where everything including its shopping bags are made in the boot-shaped country (aside from its Swiss watches, that is). The Italian fashion house also ditched Santana Row and opened at Valley Fair in August 2013 with a selection of items that includes men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, handbags and shoes for both sexes. The men’s section runs the gamut from whimsical ties to $1900 crocodile shoes, while some of the ladies’ offerings include the Fiamma (named after Ferragamo’s daughter) handbag made with stingray from Thailand, a $6,700 anaconda classic Sophia bag and purses with calf hair from New Zealand.
This high-end British retailer pays homage to its roots with a cobblestone entry, limestone floors from the United Kingdom and wood imported from its factory in the English county of Somerset, where the brand was founded in 1971. Known for its luxury leather craftsmanship, Mulberry carries an accessories collection that mixes iconic brand classics with new seasonal items. Handbags comprise the majority of the goods sold at the Valley Fair boutique, but you’ll also find scarves, belts, men’s briefcases, travel bags and shoes. The most popular item sold here is the Alexa satchel in oak polished buffalo ($1,850 for the medium and $1,450 for the mini).
A spacious, private VIP salon allows guests to shop in privacy at this 4,446 square-foot boutique, which happens to be the second-largest Louis Vuitton store in northern California, just behind the boutique in Union Square. You’ll find a full range of leather goods, watches, jewelry, accessories and luggage to quench your thirst here, including the iconic Speedy bag, which has been a bestseller since 1930. The store also features a travel personalization area where you can have your items customized using the fashion house’s signature Mon Monogram service.