Balmain Returns to New York in Beautiful Madison Ave. Boutique
Pierre Balmain opened his first American boutique in 1970. European brands were flocking to Madison Ave. and the street became what it is today. Five decades later Balmain returns to New York, to the same chic Upper East Side neighborhood, with its newest boutique. While historically the opening of such a gorgeous shop would result in events and a celebratory party. This opening fell in the midst of different times with COVID still running its course. But, nonetheless, this stunning new store, created by Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing in collaboration with Lh favorite Studio AMV, did not open without due recognition.
The uncertain future that we live in may be hindering some from moving onward, but not Olivier. And of course, this is no surprise since in the summer he showed us fashion has no barriers with the launch of his new collection on the Seine during Paris lockdown. The opening of Balmain New York has brought joy and reminds us to look to the future with hope.
Read on to explore the beautiful boutique, a space where the brand’s Parisian heritage perfectly blends with New York’s unique style and flair!
Behind Balmain New York
Introduced by a common friend long before working together, Studio AMV’s first project was Olivier Rousteing’s Paris apartment. And thus began a great collaboration. First with the new Balmain Paris location and then onto a new look for Balmain boutiques around the world. The concept: “transport Paris to all corners of the globe, inspired by the codes of a classic hôtel particulier to help to make each Balmain visitor feel the atmosphere of Paris, wherever they may be in the world,” explains Anna Philippou of Studio AMV.
But when it came time for the New York location, the prototype needed some adjustments. “I love New York and I’m fascinated by the city’s one-of-a-kind style and flair,” explains Olivier Rousteing. “And that’s why I knew that we couldn’t simply cut-and-paste a Parisian décor into the Manhattan’s modern environment. Instead, I worked with the AMV team to ensure that our new space reflected the true spirit of New York. Our aim was to create a space that was as open and impressive as a New York loft—and as eye-catching as a New York gallery.”
Inside Balmain New York
When first arriving at Balmain New York one a distinctive all-black gallery space meets you. This “porch” like area will be constantly updated to feature special creations from Olivier’s favorite artists and/or highlight the house’s latest campaigns, collaborations and collections.
Once inside, the space features a number of individual rooms. Each dedicated to showcasing one specific part of the Balmain universe, from bags to ready-to-wear. Those already familiar with the house’s other flagships will quickly notice many changes. Overall, the selling area is more open, less intimate. Many quintessential Parisian touches—golden ornaments, classic chandeliers, elegant molding—have been replaced or updated to better reflect New York’s boldly modern and urban spirit.
To celebrate the new Manhattan flagship, Olivier Rousteing and his accessories team have created two exclusive, limited-edition BBuzz bags. The inspiration for the new designs comes from classic, mid-century graphics and colors of airmail envelopes of fifty years ago, in homage to when Pierre Balmain opened his first Madison Avenue boutique.
In addition to the bag, Olivier Rousteing decided for this opening to create a new scent. A long time lover of the Ernesto scented candle from Paris’ Cire Trudon, Olivier, along with Maison Robertet nose Emilie Bouge, created a new Ernesto scent for the BalmainxTrudon candle. The candle, with a distinctly black-and-gold holder and packaging by Rousteing, is available at Balmain’s SaintHonoré and Madison Avenue flagships.
Words by Inês Vidal & Anna Beck Bimba