This wasn’t the original plan.
For close to a year, the Balmain and Akoni teams had been developing a launch calendar for the introduction of the new Balmain Eyewear collection. They agreed that the new line of distinctive designs would be premiered on the runway for Olivier Rousteing’s women’s show during February’s Paris Fashion Week. That would guarantee maximum exposure, while giving everyone the necessary time to develop all presentation materials, including the new Akoni website.
But then Olivier Rousteing saw the final designs.
“As soon as I saw them, I was determined to have them immediately,”
Just like his familiar DB blazer, jeans and sneakers, this is a Balmain product that seems destined from the beginning to form a part of the designer’s daily wardrobe. “I’m crazy about the whole line, but there is one particular design that is very much me,” notes Rousteing. “And, the entire team could spot my love for that unique model at each and every stage of the development—which is why they decided to name it ‘Wonder Boy.’ And, yes, I’ve already begun slipping that style on every morning.”
Akoni’s new collection for Balmain is clearly in line with the singular DNA and easily recognized codes of the historic Parisian house. The strong, often audacious, style of the new collection reflects the assertive, confident spirit of today’s Balmain Army. The many gold touches recall Pierre Balmain’s signature golden medallions and gilded buttons as well as the importance that the rich tone has in every one of Olivier Rousteing’s runways. The intricate details and high level of craftsmanship echo that of Balmain’s famed ateliers.
"Just like us, Olivier likes to always push the envelope,” notes Rosario Toscano, Akoni’s CEO. “He’s known for shaking things up in luxury fashion and thinking in surprising new ways, while continually building upon heritage and relying on the savoir-faire of the world’s best craftsmen. That’s our model, as well. Just like Balmain, Akoni works with nothing but the highest quality of materials and the best artisans. That’s why we’re based in Lugano, design in Los Angeles and produce in Japan—relying on a global team of experts that allows us to create the type of eyewear that aligns perfectly with a thoroughly modern-yet-historic house like Balmain.”