PARIS — Balmain is opening up to the world.Today, the high-flying Paris house will parade a Las Vegas-inspired collection here by its new designer, Olivier Rousteing — and it will close out 2011 with a string of new boutiques dotted across Asia, including six in China.In a rare interview, Balmain chief executive officer Alain Hivelin discussed the latest developments for the privately held, debt-free company, which continues to post revenue growth in excess of 50 percent annually, something it’s done for the past five years.In Tokyo last week for the opening of a boutique in Ginza in partnership with Bluebell Japan Ltd., Hivelin flicked through an iPad to show off images of other recently opened Asian units, including boutiques in Shanghai’s IFC, Beijing’s Sanlitun Village and at the Plaza 66 in Jinan.He estimates that China will account for 6 to 8 percent of Balmain revenues in the next year, saying “the first sales figures are encouraging.”While still wholesale driven, Balmain should end 2011 with 11 freestanding stores worldwide and six shops-in-shop. A Manhattan flagship ranks among future priorities, Hivelin noted.The retail developments come in tandem with new deals for eyewear with L’Amy Group starting this spring and fragrances with Inter Parfums SA effective Jan. 1.Balmain also closed the order books on the first season for its Pierre Balmain second line under license with Italy’s Ittierre SpA. First deliveries are expected in November to some 700 doors, ahead of sales targets, Hivelin said.The fashion house underwent a jolt last March when its designer since 2005, Christophe Decarnin — who catapulted its notoriety with thigh-skimming dresses, strong-shouldered jackets and astronomically expensive destroyed T-shirts — was absent from its runway show under doctor’s orders.Hivelin expressed regret over Decarnin’s departure due to health problems. “We had a fantastic working relationship. He’s a very professional man. I respect him. I like him,” Hivelin said. “In our industry, the pressure is very heavy, because you have to deliver every season…something that corresponds to the expectations of our customers, of the media, of everyone.”That said, Hivelin lauded Rousteing and 13 other young international talents in the house’s design studios. He noted that orders for the pre-collection under Rousteing’s design purview jumped 25 percent.“Olivier is fresh, he’s young, full of talent, very hardworking,” the executive enthused. “He has so much potential.”A key deputy of Decarnin at Balmain since 2009, Rousteing, 26, previously worked for Roberto Cavalli for five years.During a preview, Rousteing said the brand would continue down its rock ’n’ roll path with audacious, body-conscious designs and elaborate embroideries that can drive retail prices into the five figures. But he said he would leave behind the hole-ridden T-shirts and other grunge aspects, ramping up the “sophistication and couture feeling.”Rousteing said he would not work with a stylist, but noted that Emmanuelle Alt, the editor in chief of French Vogue, who had collaborated with Decarnin, remains an inspirational muse.“She’s relaxed and at the same time, superglamorous,” he enthused.
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)