It was hard to miss the Balmain party in Manhattan Wednesday evening. Turning off Madison Avenue and onto 59th Street, the sidewalk in front of the boutique was painted highlighter yellow, which not only illuminated the party’s entrance from blocks away but also gave attendees a buttercup-like effect on their faces once they arrived. It was anything but subtle, which felt perfectly on brand for the celebration.
People in club-ready looks — Balmain, of course — strutted down the street as they approached the store. Lea Michele, Tommy Dorfman, Nina Agdal and Victor Glemaud were some of the guests who turned out, welcoming Olivier Rousteing back to New York. While the Madison Avenue store opened in September 2020, Rousteing hadn’t been back to Manhattan to see the store since before the pandemic.
“New York has always been such a dream for me, because it’s the city of the dream, it’s the city of dynamism and energy,” the designer said in front of the store, after being pulled away from the many adoring fans and shoppers eager to greet him. “I know that Balmain is such a French brand from 1945 but what I’ve tried to do in the 10 years of my career at Balmain was always to push the global; Balmain was not only Parisian but international in my mind.
“I have to say that I would never be who I am without American support, from the many people here,” he continued. “I’m not only talking about celebrities, I’m talking about the press, the journalists, retailers and wholesalers. Tonight is about thanking America for the love and support that they gave me.”
It was his first time seeing the store, which he described as having a chic French touch with an American modern vibe. While in town, he planned to have a nice dinner out with his team before speaking at Parsons and meeting with Netflix.
The night also marked the announcement of the Balmain NFT, a long-term, global partnership with MintNFT.
Before Rousteing headed back into the store and to the throngs waiting to greet him, he disclosed his favorite look from last week’s Met Gala.
“My favorite look from the Met Ball last week, I had a couple that I really loved but to be completely honest I would say…the Kim K look,” he said. “It was not only about the dress, it was about the concept and saying how iconic she is today, and how iconic was Marilyn [Monroe], and bringing them together on this red carpet showed that all the fights she went through to be the woman she is today and being respected by the fashion industry. Now she has access to the most iconic woman of the world. It’s a good revolution.”
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