On the surface, Balmain is a house that serves up gilded glamour via embellished dresses and second-skin tailoring whose adored by world celebritires. Fans love it too, double-tapping on creative director Olivier Rousteing’s Instagram photos with the famous hashtag #BalmainArmy, and lining up for hours to shop the brand’s H&M collaboration. In addition to all that, Balmain has just opened its first flagship store in the U.S. Located in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, interior design firm Studio KO was tasked with combining Balmain’s history with Rousteing’s modern aesthetic as well as adapting to its American surroundings. “For me, America has been a key part of my vision of how I want to see Balmain today because Balmain is a timeless brand, really aristocratic and really about luxury and couture, so bringing pop culture really makes it more modern and more fresh than if I was just keeping with the traditions of Paris. I think that has been part of my success and of Balmain’s success, so it was important for me to open the store here,” Rousteing stated.
Taking inspiration from founder Pierre Balmain’s Villa Balmain on the Italian island of Elba, the new flagship is housed within a 2,150-square-foot space and Rousteing said, "it had to be SoHo. Anyone who knows me knows that I find America incredibly inspiring. I admire its uniquely open spirit, mix of peoples and impressive culture—and New York is all that, multiplied by a thousand! I fell in love with the city the first time I visited, and ever since, I try to see as much as possible each time I'm there—but what most intrigues me is that amazing mix of energy, creativity and beauty that you find in downtown Manhattan." The new flagship store emphasizes lightness and clarity with its use of white ceiling beams, black marble-lined archways, commanding mirrors, accents of gold and brass, and classic 20th century French furniture pieces throughout. Stocking men’s and women’s collections, with kidswear to arrive for the Fall/Winter 2016 season, take a tour of the premises if you find yourself in New York.
Balmain New York
100 Wooster St.
New York NY 10012
Photos via Hypebeast