PARIS — Looking to bolster its retail and wholesale channels across the U.S., Balmain, ahead of Art Basel Miami Beach, has cut the ribbon on a 2,220-square-foot Miami flagship located at Bal Harbour Shops. Next month will see the opening of a 1,555-square-foot Las Vegas boutique, set within a wing of the Wynn Plaza.
Conceived by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing in partnership with three young architects from Paris’ Studio AMV — Anna Philippou, Marie-Charlotte Prosperi-Fouchard and Victoire Guerlay — the interior design for both stores was based on the brand’s Milan flagship, which opened in April. The direction channels the codes of the classic Parisian hôtel particulier while integrating hi-tech features, such as the My City of Lights virtual reality concept that debuted in Milan.
Massimo Piombini, chief executive officer of Balmain, spoke of “the strong bond between Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing and America.”
Among what drew the brand to the respective cities, Miami is “a very important destination for the Latin American consumer — and Balmain has long been popular with that shopper, as well,” Piombini said.
For Las Vegas, the main draw was the prime real estate: the Wynn Plaza, a new retail destination on Las Vegas Boulevard.
The openings bring the total number of Balmain stores Stateside to five.
The new stores are part of a controlled rollout of flagships by the brand in key cities around the world in the build-up to the opening of a landmark Paris flagship on Rue Saint-Honoré in early 2019, on a site occupied by Zara.
Balmain is actively scouting locations in cities including Rome, London and various cities in Asia, where the brand has a small retail presence.
With 30 to 40 store openings planned for the next three to four years, the aim is to cap the number of flagships at around 50. “The most important question for the next years is how to engage with the new generation of customers,” Piombini explained in a recent interview with WWD.
The luxury brand in July also launched its digital flagship with Yoox Net-a-porter Group, serving customers in more than 100 markets.