All About the New Balmain Boutique Where Kim Kardashian West Will Be Shopping Errday in L.A.

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Exterior of the new Balmain store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles.
Exterior of the new Balmain store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lippman

The biggest fashion news from the west coast this month is the much-heralded arrival of Balmain Los Angeles on one of L.A.’s most famous streets—Melrose Place.

The West Coast flagship is a 2,400-square-foot, one-story boutique which carries the brand’s men’s, women’s and kid’s clothing collections, as well as the complete offering from the recently re-launched Balmain accessories line. Here is what to expect from one of Kim Kardashian West‘s most beloved boutiques.

The garden at the new Balmain store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles.
The garden

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lippman

THE LOCATION

“I’m a product of the ‘90s,” notes Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s Creative Director. “For as long as I can remember, Los Angeles has always been this incredible source of dreams and inspirations—pop culture actually made me fall in love with the city even before I had set foot inside it! Later, when Los Angeles became more than just the setting of movies and songs, it ended up inspiring me even more—my California friends introduced me to the singular lifestyle, relaxed glamour and exhilarating openness, diversity and freedom that one finds there—and, of course, that intoxicating West Coast spirit has been reflected in my collections. So, in many ways coming to LA is almost as much as a homecoming as the opening of a new flagship.”

The interiors of the new Balmain store
The interiors of the new Balmain store

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lippman

THE MARKET

“Opening in Los Angeles was an easy decision for the brand to make,” explains Massimo Piombini, Balmain’s CEO. “The success of our year-old New York flagship makes very clear to us that the States is a strong market for Balmain. We also know that the house has a very loyal clientele in California—due in no small part to Olivier’s channeling of his love for the spirit of the West Coast into his collections. This new address now allows us to present a much more complete selection of Olivier’s designs For men, women, kids and accessories than we’ve been able to do up to now.”

Balmain takes Los AngelesPhoto Credit: Elizabeth Lippman

THE BRIEF

Ever since its post-war opening, Balmain’s original flagship on 44 Rue François Premier has helped underline the brand’s unique heritage as an historic Parisian house. But plopping down a copy of that iconic Haussmannian space on WeHo’s sunny streets was never an option. Instead, the architects at Studio KO aimed to channel Balmain’s history, while reflecting Rousteing’s strongly modern DNA and adapting to the neighborhood’s unique style and California’s distinct design sensibility.

Balmain takes Los AngelesPhoto Credit: Elizabeth Lippman

THE INTERIOR

Set behind a mid-century, dark green-stucco exterior, the new flagship’s interior looks to Villa Balmain, the beautiful Italian vacation home of house founder Pierre Balmain, for inspiration. Studio KO has channeled that modernist structure’s cool, clean and pared-back Mediterranean decor, relying on vaulted ceilings, thickly plastered walls and black marble floors. A large rear garden, filled with low green plants and white flowers and paved with alternating black and grey stones, completes the Southern European relaxed, residential feel, where visitors would be happy “to walk barefoot,” explain the architects. “Above all,” they add, “we wanted to create an exclusive store in which luxury is expressed by the right proportions and the right rhythm—rather than by an avalanche of expensive materials.”

Balmain takes Los AngelesPhoto Credit: Elizabeth Lippman

THE BASICS

Address: 8421 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Architects: Studio KO, Paris
Interior: 2,400 square feet
Building History: Originally constructed in 1948
Collections: Women’s, Men’s, Kid’s, Eyewear and Accessories

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