Balmain’s Unisex Collection Features Sneakers With Unexpected Cutouts

Balmain is relaunching its sneaker collection — and the fall ’19 looks popped on the runway Friday night.

The show, held at a grand Paris Tennis Club, opened with a series of dramatic tailored looks. “When everyone is struggling to be streetwear, it’s important to remember that being a designer is about tailoring and treatments,” creative director Olivier Rousteing told FN backstage.

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The sharply tailored look that opened the runway at the fall ’19 Balmain show.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

For sneakers, he explained, working with interesting materials gives them a whole different attitude. “It’s exciting for me to bring that element of couture and craftsmanship to a shoe,” he added.

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A model wearing what appeared to be black-and-white kicks with Balmain’s logo on the side.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

In the black-and-white themed collection, white sneakers a black strip on the side appeared to feature the new Balmain logo — but it was an optical illusion.

The shoes actually featured cutouts with Balmain Paris socks worn underneath.

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A close-up look at the Balmain sneakers with cut-out detailing.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Mirroring Hedi Silmane’s Celine debut show in September, both the shoes and garments in the show were all unisex. This season, from the footwear at Y/Project at Pitti to looks at Off/White, Givenchy. This androgynous movement had turned into a massive trend.

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An androgynous look at the Balmain show.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

There was no difference between the boys and the girls in the show,” observed Rousteing. “I want to push a new world where you don’t label and you don’t judge,” he said.

That message, emblazoned on sneakers, bags and shirts alike, was clear: ‘Things have to change’.

Click through the gallery to see the full Balmain fall ’19 collection.

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