Who did Balmain have their eye on for their next celebrity collaboration? Well it was none other than Colombian rapper, singer, and songwriter Maluma.
Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing spent months in quarantine, as did the rest of us, trying to find ways to past the times. He cut to watching his old favorite ‘80s and ‘90s series where the wardrobes were filled with bright colors, bold patterns, and very Miami vibes. The South Florida inspired aesthetic was noticed by Maluma, who thought the eye-catching aesthetic of the recent Balmain collection was 100 percent him to the T.
Maluma would later go on to be photographed giving a Caribbean twist to one of Rousteing’s modern takes on the classic French petit-pois pattern. From there, the musician began working with Rousteing to create a one-of-a-kind trpical look for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. The pair ended up riffing on sherbet tones and an ‘80s silhouette of Crockett and Tubbs for Maluma’s performance of Hawái during last August’s show.
After the reception of Maluma’s VMA’s outfits, Rousteing felt he had to take this partnership with Maluma further. The duo began working on a new line of designs intended for Maluma’s tour, but then the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Rousteing and Maluma saw no reason to let these designs go to waste. They have decided to release the Balmain x Maluma collaboration as a special, limited-edition collection. The one-of-a-kind Balmain x Maluma sneakers and ready-to-wear designs are now available globally.
In addition to the ready-to-wear pieces and sneakers, Rousteing also put together a special playlist of songs that played in Balmain’s atelier when the collection was being designed, that’s now available on the Apple Music Signature platform.
“This Balmain-Maluma seamless mix of music and fashion makes perfect sense, of course,” Rousteing said. “It reflects this house’s distinctive DNA, in which music and fashion are thoroughly intertwined—and neither Maluma nor I could ever conceive of fashion without a full helping of music (or vice-versa).”
“I released two albums in eight months, and no one was expecting that,” Maluma said. “First, Papi Juancho, with all those vintage Miami Vice vibes, and then I went to Jamaica and fell in love with the culture there. I feel like Olivier and Balmain does that, too, by trying to change the rules of the game every time you want to play it. This collaboration represents us merging our fashion and music worlds, and breaking the rules with style, colors and mostly importantly blending our cultures together.
He added that, “It’s been one of my goals to work with a respected fashion house on a collection, but this journey was more exciting, as Olivier pushed me to design with him and sketch looks that I personally will wear off the stage and showcase high couture with a bit of Papi Juancho. This process was exciting as I have always dreamt to design one day, and I was happy to have a friend like Olivier let me express creatively through fashion.”