Balmain Collaborates With Beats Features Kylie Jenner (VOGUE)

Photo: Courtesy of Balmain

Photo: Courtesy of Balmain

Photo: Courtesy of Balmain

"I wanted to bring French luxury to technology." -Olivier Rousteing

Olivier Rousteing is in Los Angeles this week, christening the new Melrose Place Balmain store with a celebrity-heavy blowout. But the West Coast flagship isn’t the only new project he’s unveiling. A music obsessive, Rousteing is releasing a custom headphone collection with the biggest player in the market, Beats by Dr. Dre. “My connection with them began when they came to my show four years ago,” Rousteing said via phone from Paris. “What they love about Balmain is that I embrace music. We’ve always had an idea of making something happen together.”

That something has taken shape in the form of Beats’s signature over-ear Studio Wireless headphones and the sportier Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones, both of which have been finished in Rousteing’s own signature #BalmainArmy green with metallic gold accents. The Balmain creative director called the project a learning experience. “You know me, I love craftsmanship, I love to make everything special and unique and rich,” he said. “Beats is modern and futuristic. I wanted to bring French luxury to technology. But when it’s about technology, there are challenges, so you need [to approach the project with] a lot of respect. You cannot treat headphones like a garment.”

Campaigns are something Rousteing is quite familiar with. In fact, he photographed Balmain’s new Fall 2017 ads himself, releasing them last week on Instagram. For this collaboration, he enlisted his friend Kylie Jenner. “It would’ve been expected to use a pop star,” he explained. “I thought it would be more interesting to choose a girl who represents the new world and touches so many different universes. Plus, I love the darkness she has, at the same time as the glamour.” As for the music, the designer is most likely to be listening to on his own Beats by Dr. Dre and Balmain headphones? “Obviously Michael Jackson,” Rousteing said. “My favorite is ‘They Don’t Care About Us.’ It’s tribal but also pop. I’ve always loved Michael Jackson. If there’s one song that I hear every day, it’s that.”

Balmain Special Edition Beats Studio Wireless ($599.95) and Powerbeats3 Wireless ($249.95) are available today at,, and Balmain’s New York and Los Angeles stores.

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First I have to support Olivier just because he said that he wanted to bring luxury to technology which is something that I am so much obsessed with now. I am glad that he started the step with music direction but not wearable technology which so many luxury brands are doing it, for example, the new smart watch Tambour Horizon from Louis Vuitton. It is a smart move to get involved with technology but using a safe way. There were so many examples of not successful designs of wearable devices. It is still an early stage of combining high tech with traditional luxury fashion. According to Canalys estimates, the Apple Watch generated more than US$2.6 billion in revenue for Apple in Q4 2016, making up nearly 80% of total smartwatch revenue. But just look around, what kind of watch do you see people wear on the street? I am 100% sure that the traditional watch is still the winner. There are a lot of reasons includes designs, functions, user experience, etc...

But back to Balmain, Olivier chose Kylie Jenner is somehow using a "technology" strategy as well. Why? Kylie Jenner is one of the top social influencers in the world. She has 95 million followers on Instagram which means no matter what she posts, everything she wears, talks, sings, dances, writes, reads, or whatever she does, at least 70% of her followers will believe. Other 25% are probably haters and 5% are no one. (I don't know i am jk). But yeah I do think this is a perfect collaboration.

$599.95 is a little pricey tho.

Check the Balmain X Beats by Dr. Dre here.

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