After four years of co-ed runway displays, Balmain returned to a dedicated men’s show on Saturday night in Paris.
For his fall/winter 2024 menswear collection, creative director Olivier Rousteing is not interested in buying into the quiet luxury trend that took over in 2023. “Our most savvy clients will take the time to note the many tiny details that set these creations apart, but it’s immediately clear to all that this collection’s luxury is anything but quiet,” Rousteing wrote in his show notes this season.
More from Footwear News
“We’re not interested in duplicating whatever might be the current trend—instead, we continue to build on Pierre Balmain’s audacious vision of blending the highest level of Parisian couture artistry with timeless designs that are open to a host of global, forward-looking influences,” Rousteing added.
Rousteing characterized Balmain’s return to a dedicated men’s show as a “rebirth,” with him freely borrowing ideas from the women’s archive of Pierre Balmain, referencing the arsenal of codes he’s introduced, tailoring being primordial, and following his own fashion instincts.
“A man that is joyful, that is confident, that is not scared of being judged, a man that is feeling free,” he said.
This same mindset is clear in Rousteing’s approach to this season’s footwear. The overall offering feels luxurious, with plenty of leather dress shoes to go around, but many quirky details – oftentimes seemlingly inspired by surrealism – add standout whimsical characteristics to the otherwise traditional men’s shoe models.
Lips repeated as a key motif across all categories this season. Red kiss prints can be seen on Rousteing’s version of a man’s pair of ballet flats. They also make an appearance on the toe of a pair of patent leather pull-on boots, which features a slight Cuban heel.
Gold teeth were another reoccurring theme in this collection. The detailing can be seen along the back heel of black patent leather boots and heeled loafers. They were even carried over into the accessories and bags this season for several standout, statement-making items.
Sneakers were also present on the runway. Two styles dominated the runway presentation. One pair was a classic low-top court sneaker style with an exaggerated square toe. The other was a chunkier, almost inflated looking, classic trainer with a futuristic feel.
This collection also sees the debut of a collaboration with two African artists: Prince Gyasi from Ghana, and Ibby Njoya, who hails from Cameroon, which brought African faces and visual verve to tailored jackets, blousons and accessories.
Launch Gallery: Balmain Fall Winter 2024 Men‘s Collection, Photos
Best of Footwear News