LONDON – The music never stops chez Balmain: Olivier Rousteing marked June 21, the longest night of the year, with a fundraising fashion show and concert at Jardin des Plantes in Paris and kept the beat going at Selfridges’ Corner Shop.
Rousteing made a flying visit to the London department store this week to cut the ribbon on a pop-up space that will customize sneakers, boots, T-shirts and hoodies with studs, spray paint, embossed initials or Japanese graphics.
Balmain shoelaces, keychains, and smaller items are on offer alongside four footwear styles including the Troop Strap sneaker, which features a monogram strap around the shoe with a side buckle fastening, and the B Ball sneaker, a high top lace-up shoe. Those styles retail from 590 pounds to 650 pounds, respectively.
On Tuesday night, Team Balmain cruised around the glass and metal space wearing T-shirts sprayed with messages including “I’m Only Human,” “I Hope (S)He Likes Girls,” which had been made in a special, splatter-proof art room on site.
Rousteing made his entrance wearing a pair of black leather sneaker hybrids.
“I wanted us to create a space where we could all customize together, I wanted people to make their own Balmain, however they wish,” said Rousteing over the blaring dance music. He added that he was only in London for a short time. “I’ve seen a few friends – that’s it – and I’m leaving tomorrow because I have to work on my women’s wear show.”
The pop-up, which opened Tuesday night, will run for two weeks. Selfridges has a host of marquee fashion and luxury brands in the pipeline for summer, and into September, for The Corner Shop.
Massimo Piombini, Balmain’s chief executive officer, said Selfridges is one of the best Balmain customers in the world and one of the biggest seller of sneakers in London. “They gave us one of the most requested selling areas of the store, and we wanted to make it more prestigious with the customization area,” he said.
The space reflects Balmain’s latest ready-to-wear-collection, inspired by the Nineties and rock ‘n’ roll.