Disney And Balmain Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of “The Lion King” With A Limited-Edition Collection Designed By Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing
Disney And Balmain Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of “The Lion King” With A Limited-Edition Collection Designed By Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing

“Working on this collaboration was a dream come true,” notes Rousteing. “I was only nine years old when “The Lion King” was first released, but still today, almost three decades later, I only need to close my eyes to replay that incredible mix of music, images and emotions. The lessons that I absorbed, as I sat, absolutely transfixed by what was happening on the giant screen in front of me, have remained with me for my entire life.”

The collection incorporates key ingredients of Balmain’s DNA. While guiding the house for the last thirteen years, Rousteing has consistently riffed on three essentials: a deep reverence for Balmain’s singular heritage, a passion for the incomparable savoir-faire of Parisian couture, and a willingness to build upon intimate reflections about his own distinctive voyage through life. Signature Balmain silhouettes and the impressive embellishment and tailoring skills of the house of Balmain are evident throughout this limited-edition offering. In addition, there is a clear continuation of Olivier Rousteing’s examination of his personal biography, reflected in his fascination with the brilliant creativity that sets apart African craft and artistry, a theme that has notably marked his Paris Fashion Week runways since the discovery that his birth parents were originally from Somalia and Ethiopia. Africa’s stunning weavings, mesmerizing patterns, intricate embroideries and striking silhouettes continued to be strong inspirations for Rousteing and his Balmain design team, as they worked on this collection.

This collaboration also shines a spotlight directly upon a new generation of young African talents. Both Disney and Balmain are proud of their long traditions of championing emerging artists and this new collection builds upon that shared history, introducing a grouping of fresh and appealing visions to a global audience. South African painter Nika Mtwana created a compelling Afrofuturistic portrait for the collection—cleverly managing to incorporate a scene from “The Lion King” into his work, via a reflection on the lens of his subject’s sunglasses. Rousteing adapted Mtwana’s design into the colorful prints that cover some of the limited-edition collection’s tees, tops and dresses. Cameroonian painter Enfant Precoce’s concentrates on Disney’s Simba, with his artwork showing “The Lion King” star navigating through a dreamlike landscape filled with an array of African wildlife. Precoce’s design—in an array of black-and-white and multi-colored variations—covers totes, coats, suits, tees and gowns. South African painter Cassius Khumalo relies on a striking mix of vivid blue, deep black and gold-foil to create an eye-catching portrait of Disney’s Nala, the film’s strong and independent lioness. Khumalo’s powerful image has been adapted for a series of totes, tees and hoodies. 

The collection is showcased in a short film directed by Femi Oladigbolu and produced by Disney in collaboration with Balmain. Shot at different locations in South Africa’s Western Cape province, the film seamlessly weaves together impressive natural beauty and the striking silhouettes, patterns and colors of the new collection, as it follows a Rousteing-led Balmain Army, composed of 30 models from all across Africa, making its way through stunning landscapes before arriving at a joyous homecoming celebration. The film will be shown during the July 5th “Lion King In Concert” evening at London’s Royal Albert Hall, featuring the Chineke! Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks. Oladigbolu’s film celebrates the power of community and, as Rousteing notes, it also underlines the guiding inspiration behind his designs for The Lion King Collection—an inspiration that he sums up in a short phrase: “by celebrating where we come from, we can clearly see where we are headed.”

“That statement really says it all for me,” explains Rousteing. “It is, of course, a key theme of “The Lion King.” It also explains my design process at Balmain, where I constantly reference the house’s extraordinary history. But, more personally, it reflects my own long search for answers about my origin. And that’s why returning to Africa to work on this film was such an incredibly moving experience for me. It released that same wave of emotions that I experienced when I first viewed “The Lion King,” all those many years ago—for, as you can imagine, watching that solitary lion cub construct his own unique and chosen family, while searching for truth about his heritage, hit me, an adopted child, particularly hard.”

“In celebration of the 30th anniversary of “The Lion King,” Olivier Rousteing and the team at Balmain created a vibrant and powerful collection, beautifully capturing the heart and essence of the iconic film and the spirit of Africa,” said Tasia Filippatos, President, Disney Consumer Products. “This collaboration continues Disney’s lasting legacy of working with global visionaries and spotlighting future generations of creatives.  

To further highlight Rousteing’s distinctive personal journey, ABC Owned Television Stations presents the documentary special, “On The Red Carpet Storytellers Spotlight: Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ x Balmain,” as well as a special episode of “Localish Unfiltered,” which will premiere on Hulu and the ABC Owned Television Stations’ streaming and digital platforms on July 10. It is executive produced by Nzinga Blake, executive producer of Race & Culture at ABC Owned Television Stations.

The Disney x Balmain: The Lion King collection will launch on July 8th, online at Balmain.com and across the globe at Balmain addresses and the world’s leading fashion boutiques. Pop-up boutiques filled with the collection’s offerings will open on July 8th inside Los Angeles’ Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills and July 11th inside Hong Kong’s Harbor City. In London, both Selfridges and Harrods will feature the collection. In Paris, the large windows at Balmain’s rue Saint Honoré flagship will be dedicated to the entire collection. For more information on the collection’s pop-up locations, visit Balmain.com or Balmain’s social media accounts.

Media kit (photos and videos): Link

About Balmain
More than 75 years ago, when Pierre Balmain first introduced his “New French Style,” it immediately became clear to all that his eponymous house was offering a distinctly fresh, bold, and feminine conception of haute couture, one which broke with many of the well-established conventions of the era. His audaciousness paid off. Pierre Balmain became one of the handful of young French talents who ushered in the mid-century golden age of couture and helped to re-establish Paris as the world’s fashion capital. 

Since 2011, Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing has been inventively building upon Pierre Balmain’s extraordinary legacy, while always remaining true to his own determination to design clothes that reflect the way his inclusive, powerful and global Balmain Army wishes to live today. The result is 21st-Century Balmain’s renewed French style—a unique and instantly recognizable house silhouette and attitude that highlights the singular craftsmanship of the celebrated Balmain ateliers, while consistently referencing a rich Parisian heritage. 

About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the division of Disney Experiences that brings beloved brands and franchises into the daily lives of families and fans through products – from toys to t-shirts, apps, books, console games and more – and experiences that can be found around the world, including on the Disney Store e-commerce platform and at Disney Parks, local and international retailers, as well as Disney store locations globally. The business is home to world-class teams of product, licensing and retail experts, artists and storytellers, and technologists who inspire imaginations around the world.

SOURCE Disney Consumer Products

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/disney-and-balmain-celebrate-the-30th-anniversary-of–the-lion-king-with-a-limited-edition-collection-designed-by-balmain-creative-director-olivier-rousteing-302184028.html
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