The Balmain x H&M collaboration was announced at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas back in May, creating much anticipation in the fashion world. Since the lookbook released, you can tell the house’s signature style has been untouched despite joining forces with Swedish retail giant. The women’s line in particular has caught our eyes – featuring double the embellishments compared to the men’s line, though both consist of military-inspired looks, broad shouldered silhouettes and meticulous designs that make up the traditional Balmain look.
Olivier Rousteing’s ultimate vision is to change the world through his newly formed “Balmain Army” and he has taken a major leap for the couture fashion house by signing on to be one of H&M’s guest designers. As Creative Director, Rousteing’s idea was to make Balmain accessible and to expand the house’s demographic through H&M’s platform and price points. Without a doubt, this is an opportunity for the middle-class to own a small piece of Balmain which would otherwise be inaccessible, unless one chooses to skip out on paying one month’s rent. Having been raised at an orphanage and growing up a minority, Rousteing is certainly breaking down walls that have been up for centuries within the fashion world. He’s unafraid to move forward and take hammers to (often prejudice) traditions that are still held in high regard though fueled by segregation. However, amongst more glamorous pieces, businessman Rousteing was wise enough to also include basics, including a logo t-shirt featuring a “Balmain France” print, not to be mistaken for the original $216 “Balmain Paris” logo t-shirt.
Far different from the Alexander Wang x H&M collaboration, yet with a backing of some major celebrities (Kardashians, Jenners, Rihanna, et al.), we are curious to see how this collection impacts streetwear advocates and what they do with this new collaborative collection. All pieces are in traditional Balmain style, but without losing sight of H&M’s manufacturing quality, we’ll have to wait until November 5th to see these seemingly extravagant pieces for ourselves.