At the helm of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing is an inimitable designer whose references span grandeur, theatrics, love and loss, but his collections also lean into the world of streetwear and sportswear with twisted undertones reimagined in luxury. The latter couldn’t ring truer for Balmain’s latest collaboration, once again working with PUMA.
Whereas the duo’s inaugural collaboration spotlighted boxing in a Cara Delevigne-fronted campaign, Balmain and PUMA now turn their hands to the world of basketball, enlisting Skylar Diggins-Smith and Kyle Kuzma to star in and show off the latest goods from the collaboration.
Leading the pack is the Balmain x PUMA Court, which takes the House’s basketball-informed luxury sneaker and applies a comprehensive collaborative makeover to the pair. For example, the tongue now sports a golden Balmain logo, while heel webbing informed by PUMA’s technology, plush fabrics used for the padded tongue, PUMA logos, a mesh toe bumper, ProFoam cushioning, and a high-abrasion rubber sole all draw from the sportswear label’s involvement in the sport.
However, in true Balmain form, lashings of premium Italian leather are added to the shoe to up the luxe feel, while a themed shoe box rounds things out.
As for the rest of the collection, we find the sports stars Diggins-Smith and Kuzma wearing the collaborative duo’s take on House classics like the Teddy Jacket, here done in leather and flocked cotton with a classic black, white, and red basketball-inspired theme. Caps, T-shirts, tank tops, a coach jacket, hoodies and shorts complement the look, subsequently rounding out the new collection.
Speaking on the project, Rousteing said: “Back in 2019, I worked closely with the PUMA team on a boxing-inspired Balmain x PUMA offering. Obviously, I loved creating that capsule — but for this second time around, I really wanted to set our focus on the thrills of basketball. Over here, we’re all big fans of le basket and French people are extremely dedicated to their favorite American teams. Plus, honestly, is there any group of athletes more fashionable than basketball players? So, I’ve long believed that a mix of Balmain’s modern Parisian luxury codes and b-ball emotion would make for the perfect combination — and I am very happy that PUMA has joined with me and my team to help prove that hypothesis.”
The limited-edition Balmain x PUMA Court will be available globally on Balmain’s website and at the PUMA NYC flagship store, commencing February 18. The drop will also be available on PUMA’s site on February 18 for all but the U.S., which receives the collection on February 28. Clothing will also be available at Balmain’s flagship boutiques around the world.
In related news, PUMA and Rhuigi Villaseñor are back together for another collaboration.
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