Monday, November 2, 2015


On the 5th November 2015, the Balmain X HM collaboration will be going live at 0900 hours and it hints at high fashion with a side of street chic for men and women with haute couture influenced clothing and accessories.

According to Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor, “it’s an iconic house, the Balmain house. It’s been around for as long as H&M, actually. Even longer, because it was founded in 1945 and H&M was founded in 1947. And Olivier is true to the Balmain DNA, but at the same time is designing for the new generation, and that is a mix between something couture-like, very glamorous, with a bit of street wear attitude. We believed it was a really interesting mix. He wants to dress both women and men and make them look confident, glamorous, and elegant, and we stand for that”.

H&M approached the house. But it’s always been a dream to do it. When you do a collaboration with H&M, it’s a big step in the fashion industry. It’s a big achievement, professionally and also personally. Professionally, you build a world and they want to be part of it. They want to be part of the Balmain army, which is amazing. Personally, it’s an amazing challenge as a designer to make a collection for the street market and for the entire world.
When you work for a super luxury brand, you don’t have so many stores; your vision isn’t the entire world. With H&M, you know you’re part of the world, you touch all the continents. I’ve always been loud about being about diversity and the world. So it’s perfect.
And they have an amazing team. It was really fluid. We had really quick communication. I think I am the first of the new decade. I’m really proud to be part of a new story.

Sometimes we feel like Balmain is not real, it’s kind of unreal. I feel with H&M, I’m going to have the chance to actually see more people wearing my clothes, and my vision more in the street. Because Balmain does not have the ability to have so many stores, with H&M I get the chance to express the diversity I’m always expressing, about ages, about races, continents.
For a luxury brand like Balmain and others, it’s an amazing gesture, giving access to people who dream about the brand. How can I say? It’s close to my vision of social media, sharing my brand with people, showing what I’m doing, giving a piece of the dream.

Personally, I think this collection is particularly audacious. And if you know me, you know I am extremely brazen with my fashion choices.
Aside from the vibrancy of the collection, I love that some of the key pieces in this collaboration were direct spin-offs from previous BALMAIN catwalk collections. For example, the velvet blazer with pearl and diamante embroidery was previously seen in the A/W 2012 collection. The silk draped miniskirts in various colours as well as the thigh high boots were previously seen in the A/W 2013 collection. Furthermore, the striped beetle juice can be seen from the S/S 2013 collection whilst the (navy) long-sleeved ornately laddered top with horizontal ropes of silk is from the A/W 2014 collection. I could go on about the parallels but I will leave it here for now; the few examples I have given got my blood pressure rising.

If you haven’t seen the ads/campaigns, below are the featured pieces from the launch

What pieces do you love from the collection? What are you planning to buy? Hit me up in the comments below. I am Destini Monet and you have been reading ‘The Black Mannequin’.


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