Balmain returned to the runway of Paris Fashion Week with a stunning Men’s collection for Fall 2024, and you’re going to want to take a double take.
The colorful collection draws inspiration from the Congolese “sapeur” cultural movement, which takes its cues from Colonial dandyism and adds African vibrancy and flair.
That group holds itself to 10 commandments of the Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes (or in English, “the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People”), which include “Thou shalt be a sapeur here on earth with humans and in heaven with your creator God,” “Thou shalt subdue the ngayas (non-knowers), the nbendés (ignorant), the tindongos (the aimless talkers) on earth, underground, at sea and in the heavens;” and “Thou shalt honor the sapeur’s style in every place,” so you know this was going to be good!
The French maison noted Democratic Republic of the Congo capital Kinshasa, Paris and Harlem as major influences on the looks, all of which put maximalism on full display and can be seen in the YouTube embed below.
American music also played an inspiring role in the collection, with nods to ragtime, blues and Tin-Pan Alley style among its details, while models tocked durags and golden grills as a nod to hip-hop.
Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing collaborated with Ghanaian visual artist Prince Gyasi on the collection, who had this to say about the work:
“When Olivier called me to propose working together on this collaboration, there was absolutely no need to think it over,” Gyasi says in the official press release. “From our many conversations over the years, I’ve grown to realize that Olivier and I share a deep connection and a common vision. Perhaps that’s ultimately due to the fact that, no matter how successful we may ultimately be, both Olivier and I seem destined to always remain outsiders. After all, there are not a lot of decision-makers in the art or fashion world who look like us. I am so happy with what that common distinctive outlook allowed Olivier and me to create. And I love how the vibrancy of the entire Balmain runway echoes and complements our designs. Just like Olivier, I am thrilled to share our work with everyone else today—hopefully, we will end up surprising, exciting and pleasing a lot of people.”
Take a front-row seat at the runway show in the YouTube video below, and learn more about Balmain’s current and future offerings at balmain.com.