Balmain opens flagship store in Miami

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Balmain announced the opening of its first Miami flagship. Set within the prestigious open-air Bal Harbour Shops, the 200-square-meter boutique displays the brand’s women’s, men’s and accessories collections.

The interior relies on the new store concept for the brand, conceived by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing and designed in partnership with the three young architects from Paris’ Studio AMV: Anna Philippou, Marie-Charlotte Prosperi-Fouchard and Victoire Guerlay. This new concept was first introduced in the brand’s Milan flagship, which opened in April of this year.

“Miami is one of my favorite destinations and my family and I have spent many vacations here. But, of course, the decision to open here has little to do with my love for the area’s beauty and distinctive culture and everything to do with Miami’s uniquely vibrant fashion and retail environment,” explains Massimo Piombini, Balmain’s CEO. “There is a very strong bond between Olivier and America, which is why we are strengthening both our retail and wholesale channels across the United States. What compelled us to choose Miami for the location of our third American boutique is the added bonus that this is a very important destination for the Latin American consumer—and Balmain has long been popular with that shopper, as well.”

For the house’s new prototype design, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing directed the architects at Studio AMV to focus on the house’s Parisian roots. “Since this design will serve as a prototype for all future addresses, Olivier wanted the stress to be placed squarely on the second part of the house’s official name: Balmain Paris,” explained Anna Philippou of Studio AMV. “He made it clear to us that he wanted Balmain to transport Paris to all corners of the globe, to make each Balmain visitor feel the atmosphere of Paris, wherever they may be in the world. But he also ensured—at every step of the process—that this was done in a modern fresh way, that avoided all the expected clichés.”


The Inspiration: The Classic Parisian Hôtel Particulier Rousteing oversaw Studio AMV’s efforts to create the house’s new store concept. “Our brainstorming sessions took off from a consensus on the need to riff on classic Parisian residential architecture,” explains Rousteing. “From there, we ended up breaking down the codes of the hôtel particulier into ten particular elements, each of which was then associated with one key Balmain signature. Since I wanted each store visit to offer experience, intimacy and discovery, we divided the space into a series of connected, distinct rooms, each inspired by the look of a living space (library, garden, boudoir, etc) and each dedicated to the display of one Balmain collection.”

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Balmain Unveils Fall Winter 2018 Video Campaign with Milla Jovovich

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Milla Jovovich stars in Balmain's FW 2018 campaign and Olivier Rousteing shares his feelings about it and the backstory:

Like every French kid growing up in the nineties, I was obsessed with The Fifth Element. So, obviously, there’s no need to tell me that Milla Jovovich is an incredible actor and a stunningly beautiful woman. I’ve long admired her strength, style and talents and I’ve often dreamed of finding a way to work with Milla on a Balmain project. That’s why I was beyond excited when she agreed to sign on for our Fall-Winter campaign. I couldn’t wait to see the first images from the London shoot. I knew enough to expect great things—but, honestly, I wasn’t expecting to be so blown away, so quickly. From the moment I saw the raw footage, I knew that we had already captured exactly what we needed.

As Leeloo says in The Fifth Element, “boooooooom ba da booom.” Done. We had it. No need for complicated edits or even a soundtrack. I knew, as soon as I saw it, that all we needed to do was keep it simple and retain the focus on what Milla was doing in that incredible space. The strong, minimal style may be new for Balmain, but it perfectly compliments next fall’s styles. An Le’s pictures captured the same stark beauty that Jake caught on the video. I’m sure there’ll be more to come, but for now, I think we’ve got it. ~ Olivier Rousteing

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BALMAIN OPENS ITS FIRST ITALIAN FLAGSHIP IN MILAN

Balmain is pleased to announce the opening of its first Italian flagship. Set on Milan’s prestigious Via Montenapoleone, the 280-square-meter boutique sets out the brand’s women’s and accessories collections on two floors. The interior introduces a new store concept for the brand, conceived by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing and designed in partnership with the three young architects from Paris’ Studio AMV: Anna Philippou, Marie-Charlotte Prosperi-Fouchard and Victoire Guerlay. 

The Location: Montenapoleone

“I was born and raised in Milan—but, the truth is, opening here has little to do with hometown pride,” explains Massimo Piombini, Balmain’s CEO. “Montenapoleone is one of the world’s iconic retail addresses—there are probably only five other locations in the world like this one—and after opening in SoHo, Mayfair and Melrose, this was the logical next step for Balmain.”

The Brief: A Clear Focus on Balmain Paris

Each Balmain address channels the unique history of the house and the new Milan boutique is no exception. The iconic original Paris flagship was revamped as a classic Parisian apartment for founder Pierre Balmain, London was designed to be M. Balmain’s would-have-been Mayfair pied-à-terre and both the Melrose and SoHo spaces were inspired by Villa Balmain, Pierre Balmain’s cliffside mid-century retreat on the Italian island of Elba. For Milan, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing directed the architects at Studio AMV to focus on the house’s Parisian roots. “Since this design will serve as a prototype for all future addresses, Olivier wanted the stress to be placed squarely on the second part of the house’s official name: Balmain Paris,” explained Anna Philippou of Studio AMV. “He made it clear to us that he wanted Balmain to transport Paris to all corners of the globe, to make each Balmain visitor feel the atmosphere of Paris, wherever they may be in the world. But he also ensured—at every step of the process—that this was done in a modern fresh way, that avoided all the expected clichés.”

The Inspiration: The Classic Parisian Hôtel Particulier

Rousteing oversaw Studio AMV’s efforts to create the house’s new store concept. “Our brainstorming sessions took off from a consensus on the need to riff on classic Parisian residential architecture,” explains Rousteing. “From there, we ended up breaking down the codes of the hôtel particulier into ten particular elements, each of which was then associated with one key Balmain signature. Since I wanted the retail experience to stress experience, intimacy and discovery, we divided the space into a series of connected, distinct rooms, each inspired by the look of a living space (library, garden, boudoir, etc) and each dedicated to the display of one Balmain collection.”

The Choices: Classics, With A Modern Outlook

“In many ways, Milan’s interior echoes the guiding principles behind all of our Balmain collections,” explains Rousteing. “While each runway offering acknowledges and salutes the house’s singular heritage and impressive savoir-faire, my team and I always ensure that we are, above all, designing for how today’s generation lives and dresses. That same historic-modern duality can be spotted in the new prototype design for Milan. The parquet, moldings, chandeliers, curtains and mirrors all make clear references to classic elements—but we’re definitely not trying to create some sort of museum piece or dollhouse. Instead, what we’ve done is to play with each historical reference, making sure that designs are modern as well as elegantly crafted from the finest materials. This is a space where I know that the Balmain Army would definitely feel at home.”

Opening Celebration:

To celebrate the Milan opening, Balmain has set up an ephemeral lounge behind the flagship’s large arched window on via Montenapoleone. There, the house will present a virtual-reality adventure called “My City of Lights.” Visitors are invited to don an Olivier Rousteing-designed Oculus headset in order to immerse themselves in a special design journey, led by Rousteing, exploring the fears, inspirations and emotions that the Creative Director encounters each season while creating a new runway offering. “My City of Lights” will remain in the new Milan flagship until April 29th, after which it will begin traveling to other Balmain addresses across the globe.

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Balmain Spring 2017

Runway: Balmain Spring 2017.

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Balmain Menswear Fall 2016

The Balmain Army was in full force for Fall 2016. And its leader, Olivier Rousteing made sure they were in full regalia. It was an extravagant display with all the pomp and circumstance of a Michael Jackson / Madonna farewell tour during 18th century France for Marie Antoinette. That's not necessarily bad btw. As a whole, the collection is as beautiful as it's [seemingly] unwearable with all its embellishments, embroidery, rich velvets and minks, quilted leathers and sash-like belts. On the other hand, as so often in fashion, as you begin to break down looks and observe the individual pieces, there are some very wonderful coats, jackets and pants. 

Olivier Rousteing is an extremely talented designer who has accomplished so much at such a young age. He gets flack for it though, so in response to his critics and in defense of his art, Rousteing had this to say to Vogue and other members of the press: “Fashion is sometimes aggressive. I love, love, love fashion. For me, there is no aggressivity about army. I go through such a hard time in fashion, because sometimes some people don’t get who I am and what I do and my way of seeing things. So I think I build my Balmain army because when you build the Balmain world, sometimes you need soldiers more than models. Because I think sometimes fashion can be really rude—and try to destroy some designers. I went through so many things in my life and work in fashion. You know when you deal with bad critics—when you are working ’til 3:00 a.m. every night with your team—and they kill you? Fashion is a business too. I can understand criticism when it is negative or positive. But I like constructive criticism. And sometimes, it’s not.”

He added: “Sometimes, they go really personal because of my age. Because I am not 50 and I did not show more than 10 shows. So sometimes, they keep thinking that I am the teenager of fashion. I grew up in the eyes of fashion and the eyes of the cameras, and sometimes it is really hard for me. I can understand if you don’t like my aesthetic: But don’t try to push me down. I am working so hard and my business is growing . . . I don’t understand when people say Balmain is not about reality—it might not be your reality, but it is a reality of today. And if you think in London some shops are already 99 percent sold out—I have the numbers. So at least if you don’t respect my aesthetic, respect that I am a businessman.”

And there you have it. You tell 'em Olivier!

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Emma Watson covers ELLE

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She's smart, sexy and on the April cover of US ELLEEmma Watson makes Western chic by wearing a Balmain shirt and calfskin pants. No magic needed to work the camera here. She looks so fresh in all the photos, I love it. But what I love most about Emma Watson is that she valued the importance of a good education by completing her studies at Brown and Oxford.

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This is probably the most amazing and gorgeous photo of the group. Stunning.

The child star has grown up with a pretty good sense of herself, though she tells ELLE about her envy towards new emerging actresses: 

“There are all these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two, and they get to emerge as this complete human being. And I’m so jealous!" Emma Watson also talks to ELLE about concerns over her "first kiss" in Hollywood and discusses her role in the new epic film Noah. You can read the entire interview in ELLE, now. [photos Carter Smith]

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