Luxury French fashion label Balmain, headed up by creative director Olivier Rousteing, has finally opened its doors in London. Based in the heart of decadent Mayfair in the capital’s South Audley Street, the store marks the label’s first flagship outside Paris.
Masterminded by Joseph Dirand, the 220-square-meter space has been conceived as a reflection of the brand’s Parisian flagship. “The concept behind the design for Balmain’s original address was to create a uniquely elegant space – a Parisian townhouse – where the house founder, Pierre Balmain, would have been very much at home,” said Dirand. “This London flagship translates that French refinement into an English vocabulary. I like to think of this new address as the founder’s second home, Pierre Balmain’s London pied-à-terre,” he added. And with its marble fireplaces, polished and elegant interior and accents of black lacquer and gold leaf, the concept is every bit as chic as its Parisian counterpart.
Meanwhile Rousteing, who recently celebrated reaching one million Instagram followers, hosted a dinner in London with celebrity friends such as Jourdan Dunn and Ellie Goulding to celebrate the launch of the store. “I’m from Paris, I love Paris, but I’m not afraid to say it – London is so much more inspiring,” said the designer to WWD.“It’s the way the women dress, the emotion the city gives you. I just love it.” The celebratory dinner was held at exclusive London locale Anabel’s on Monday, while the designer made no secret of the fact that he sees his expansion into the capital as a major milestone for the label. “Today, I am working for the new generation, for modernity, and London is all about that new generation, luxury, modernity, quality, diversity – and I think that’s what I love about London. When you achieve your first store in London – as a designer, as a business – I think that is really significant,” he said.
Balmain is now open on 69 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London