Chances are, unless you’ve been living under some sort of social media repellent rock, you’ve heard of Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing. Taking the helm of the esteemed French fashion house in 2011 Rousteing wasted no time in letting his youthful presence and infectious energy be felt, piecing together not only collections that have fuelled the brand’s continuous evolution but jaw dropping runway shows, where rubbing shoulders with a vast list of celebrity acquaintances is high on the agenda among spectacular visuals and, of course, quality garments.
Continuing things on in a contemporary direction Balmain recently announced that they would be treating their vast army of supporters to the brand’s first ever footwear collection. Using Rousteing’s self-admitted sneaker soft spot and a desire to become more accessible as the driving force, the collection sees an amalgamation of a decidedly larger-than-life Balmain design direction with a plethora of influential reference points splayed out across both high and low silhouettes.
First teasing the collection in their SS20 runway show, this focused offering from the brand sees various footwear styles effortlessly blended into singular pieces. Through robust shapes, divisively chunky soles and panelled uppers, many of the trainers up for grabs manage to fulfil two roles at once, simultaneously appearing both sporty sneaker and utilitarian boot. Keeping colours to a minimum the selection instead opts to let both quality materials and unique elements do most of the talking with premium leathers, military-inspired straps and synthetic overlays bringing a sense of well-rounded depth to each individual piece.
Taking a step away from boot-sneaker hybrids the collection also gives way to a familiar low-top outline treated with the same levels of elevated styling. Using the classic sneaker as a canvas, Balmain utilise a purposefully rough around the edges spray-paint treatment to the midsole, allowing the paint to bleed onto the uppers alongside scrawled out ‘Balmain’ and ‘things have to change’ callouts for both a bespoke and edge-driven finish.
Given Balmain’s already astronomically impressive output when it comes to things from the ankles up we are sure this first collection-wide foray into footwear is sure to have something for everyone whether you’re looking for creative design, superb craftsmanship or urban appeal.