Olivier Rousteing Sounds Off on His New Balmain Kids’ Collection
It’s safe to say that the #BalmainArmy is a pretty good-looking bunch already, but it just got a whole lot cuter thanks to the house’s first-ever children’s wear collection, timed to arrive in Balmain stores and online this June. The 55-piece offering was personally designed by creative director Olivier Rousteing—as opposed to licensed, as many other children’s lines are—and will retail from €190 for a sleeveless patterned tee to €5,500 for an embroidered dress, in sizes to fit boys and girls ages 6 to 14. The news that Balmain is launching kids shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to fans—Rousteing has created several custom pieces for North West, the daughter of Kanye and Kim Kardashian West. “I think I first thought about designing kidswear when I dressed North,” he said from his studio in Paris. “I had a conversation with Kim, and that was the beginning of how I really understood that the Balmain universe can also belong to kids.”
The good news for young Balmain admirers is that the kids’ section of that Balmain universe is none too different from the adult one (minus, of course, more provocative pieces, like the new corsets in his Pre-Fall lineup). Rousteing’s famous leather trousers, cropped jackets, golden embroidery, and glittering embellishments all appear as part of this debut range, each piece looking like a miniature version of something once worn by Joan Smalls or Jordan Barrett on the runway. “When you see the Balmain children’s pieces, you can see the references that are actually part of the Balmain women’s and men’s wardrobes,” Rousteing noted. “It’s easy for me to build the Balmain identity pretty coherently because I’m the same designer for men and women—and not so many houses have the same designer for both.” The collection is so signature Rousteing that around the maison, staffers were referring to the tiny models as “mini Oliviers.” “I love my men’s double-breasted jacket because it’s what I wear every day, and seeing a kid wearing that is just like heaven!” the designer said.
For all the fun, the collection also provided Rousteing an opportunity to grow his message of inclusion, something he began in 2015 with his wildly successful H&M collaboration, which allowed shoppers on a budget to afford Balmain wares. “Balmain is also about diversity, and I think the casting and the pictures show that no matter where you come from, the Balmain army is open and all the kids from the world are a part of it,” he said. “That’s really what I wanted to show with this campaign, that it’s a global line for all countries and all continents.”
Among the first kids to find their part will be the children of Rousteing’s Balmain muses: “Alessandra Ambrosio, she has children. Adriana Lima has daughters.Jourdan Dunn has a son, and so my first point will be sending some presents to my girls, because they are part of the Balmain world—why not have their kids be a part of the Balmain world? And obviously, I’m building an entire wardrobe for Kim!”