You might need a Beyoncé-size bank balance to regularly shop its wares, but celebrity-favourite label Balmain’s brand new smartphone app offers a rare view into its elite world for free.
Unveiled on the iTunes app store on January 18, the app’s first job is to live stream Balmain’s runway show at Couture Fashion Week in Paris on January 23 – the first couture event the label’s showcased in 16 years.
The show’s also a couture first for creative director Olivier Rousteing, who famously has framed portraits of close friends Kim and Kayne framed in his office. (Rousteing was one of the first luxury designers to agree to loan the Instagram star dresses, despite the lingering stigma left by her infamous sex tape at the time.)
The critically acclaimed creative, who’s a darling of the fashion and famous sets, was a driver for the app, created as part of his dream to democratise luxury fashion. (Translated: make it relevant and accessible to non-rich fans.)
“For too many years, the legendary ateliers, boutiques and runways of Paris have only been open to a very lucky select few,” he’s said. “We’d like to begin to change that but inviting as many members of our Balmain Army as possible into our Balmain universe.”
The app also has augmented reality features. For example, posters dotted around Paris right now can be scanned to reveal fresh Balmain content on your phone.
While the launch focuses heavily on the French capital, pop-ups and other guerrilla activities are planned for other cities in the months to come. From mid-February, you can take an immersive tour of the new Saint Honore flagship store that’s currently under construction, too.
New year, new brand logo, new couture showcase, new app to reach the millennial market. You certainly can’t fault Rousteing’s passion for staying current.
But then, what else would you expect from a man who was one of the first designers to embrace and dress a version 1.0 Kim Kardashian? Little wonder her entire clan adores him.
Download the app from iTunes here to watch the Balmain SS19 Couture show live stream on January 23. (There’s a timing counting down to the start time, so it’s impossible to miss.)