The French luxury design house Balmain collaborates with Beyoncé for a truly contemporary couture collection

Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of Balmain, found himself listening to Beyonce’s recently released Renaissance on repeat during the course of last summer. “I was sketching and sketching as I listened, and sometimes you can’t control the emotion of your sketch. And I started to imagine the sketches inside her album, how they would relate to the songs and the lyrics – it wasn’t something I was supposed to be doing but I was just inspired by the music to do it. And that’s how this started.”

After that experience, he reached out to Marni Senofonte, Beyoncé’s stylist, and openly expressed his desire to collaborate on a couture collection with her. Both Marni and Beyoncé were enthusiastic about the project.

Over a period of five months, Rousteing has therefore been collaborating with Beyoncé and Senofonte to bring his musically inspired sketches to life. Their initial focus was to narrow down the 50 or so sketches to a playlist of 17. They then worked together to transform the remaining sketches into a fully realized Balmain x Beyoncé couture collection.



Their collaboration led to the creation of a collection that pays tribute to the performer’s musical background as well as the history of the Balmain’s house. In fact, after devoting five months to refining the collection, the collaboration produced 17 couture pieces, with 16 of them corresponding to the songs on Renaissance, the collection beginning with the self-assured “I’m That Girl” and culminating with the pulsatingly liberating “Summer Renaissance.” Moreover, the collection, named Renaissance Couture, showcases dramatic sculptural elements such as hammered metal breastplates, 3D-printed bustiers, and feather fireworks.



“I can’t help but be thrilled by the history-making aspects of this collaboration,” Rousteing said. “This appears to be the first time that a Black woman has overseen the couture offering from an historic Parisian house. And those designs were created in partnership with the first Black man to ever oversee all the collections at an historic Parisian house. Let’s hope those two firsts help inspire plenty of others. Thank you, Beyoncé,” he continued, “for creating the infectious, joyous music that launched this journey – and for partnering with me to ensure that we designed the collection that perfectly reflected the power of those compositions.”

Take a look at the collection here: