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For the opening of Balmain’s 2nd flagship boutique in Europe, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing created an immersive VR experience. Donning Balmain-designed Oculus headsets, visitors could view ‘My City of Lights,’ a virtual frolic through Rousteing’s creative process, complete with burning cathedrals and idyllic Parisian skylines. Subtle.

Located on Via Montenapoleone in Milan, the 3,024-square-foot space is the first Balmain property designed by Rousteing himself. Done in partnership with Studio AMV, it exudes Rousteing’s ornate sensibility, with wall-to-wall marble, scintillating brass, and a hyper-cool monochrome design scheme. The space is sugared with light from delicate chandeliers, rows and rows of stage lights, and slender, nondescript lamps. In effect, it is a city of lights, tapping the thematic pulse of Rousteing’s VR experience. 

Of course, the Milan open is only Rousteing’s latest foray into the tech world. Since coming to Balmain, he brought a digital flair to the label with his social media prowess and affinity for pop culture.  Last year, he even teamed with Beats by Dre to produce a collection of Balmain-designed headphones. It’s at this intersection of tech and fashion where Rousteing found Balmain’s heartbeat. His entire tenure at the label has centered on a marriage of old and new, on bringing the label’s timeless essence into the present.

“When technology meets emotions, VR is the future” – Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director, Balmain

Rousteing’s tech-driven approach to design makes him a renegade in the fashion world, changing the scene one Instagram like at a time.

Balmain Milan Flagship Store