When Balmain decided to launch its children’s line, there was never a question about which strategy to follow. “Of course, it’s expected practice for a fashion house to farm out lines like this to a licensee,” notes the Paris house’s CEO, Emmanuel Diemoz. “But for me and Olivier Rousteing that simply wasn’t an option.” As Rousteing, Balmain’s Creative Director, explains, both he and Diemoz are determined to maintain the house’s coherence and quality across all of its offerings: “One of the things that we both love is visiting Balmain’s boutiques and watching couples shop together. This house offers them a unique, shared vision that can easily be recognized in both the men’s and women’s collections. Because of that, we couldn’t possibly introduce a children’s line without guaranteeing that it met the same exacting standards and style. The only way to ensure that was for me to assume complete creative control—Emmanuel and I knew that my team and I had to design and oversee each step of the collection right here, in Balmain’s Paris ateliers.“
The collection’s first fifty-five designs, designed for children ranging from six to fourteen years old, riff on house classics that Rousteing has shown on the men’s and women’s runways over the past five years. “It was very easy to choose which styles to produce,” he notes. “These are the same looks that, over the years, moms and dads have repeatedly pleaded with me to produce for their kids.” The house’s signature offerings, including Japanese-denim jeans, quilted perfectos, thick cabans, double-breasted coats and white tux jackets are given new lives in smaller sizes. There’s also a chic fur coat, embroidered cavalry jacket, zebra-patterned top and a selection of sleek shoe designs that replicates larger sizes spotted earlier on the runway.
Retail prices range from €190 for a sleeveless patterned tee to €5,500 for an embroidered black dress. The items will be introduced in stores next June, exclusively at Balmain boutiques and online at Balmain.com.
Images courtesy of Balmain by photographer AJ Numan