Balmain x Beyoncé Coachella Limited Edition

Making history as the first black woman to headline Coachella, the famous California music festival, Beyoncé used the opportunity to celebrate the culture of historically black colleges with her performance. To do so, she hit the stage in several custom college letter sweatshirts designed by Balmain while singing her famous songs, such as «Run the World (Girls)». Immediately after, fans were searching the internet for ways to get their hands on these cool pieces. And now, we can all finally buy a BAK-lettered sweatshirt.

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The six-piece collection, an iconic collaboration for music and fashion, features three T-shirts and three sweatshirts offered in black, hot pink, and bright yellow, like the one Queen Bey wore to open her Coachella set and riffs on the signature varsity styles and legacy of America’s 37 historically black colleges and universities.

Proceeds from the collection, fittingly, will be used to help fund the impressive work of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), which helps thousands of students attend college, thrive, graduate and become tomorrow’s leaders.

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Me with Olivier Rousteing

In a statement, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing explained: «After experiencing that beautiful partnership, we weren’t ready to just walk away without adding gone final, perfecting touch. This collection of hoodies and tees, based on key designs from our Coachella efforts, responds to our need to repay an obvious debt for the inspiration we received from the signature spirit and legacy of America’s historically black colleges and universities(HBCUs). Which is why we are so very pleased to announce that proceeds from this collection will help fund the impressive work of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF)—helping to guarantee that tomorrow’s leaders will be able to attend college, thrive and graduate.»

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 The Balmain x Beyoncé Coachella collection is available exclusively at Balmain’s Paris flagship store, at the House’s revamped digital platform and at NET-A-PORTERicon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Balmain

L’Oréal Paris x Balmain

No matter your origin, no matter your tribe. Come together, be seen, be heard. Because we are all worth it.
Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director, Balmain Paris

Two years ago, Balmain already made a foray into the world of affordable luxury with its H&M designer collaboration. This fall, the #BalmainArmy will find new members of the tribe as L‘Oréal Paris has joined forces with Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing for a collection of twelve limited COLOR RICHE couture lipsticks. One shade more beautiful than the other.

Olivier Rousteing with me

Needless to say that Olivier Balmain’s knows how to run a social media hype. For the launch of the French house’s first lipstick, he is accompanied by twelve model muses that each has inspired one of the dozen shades.

This collaboration with L’Oréal is the perfect fit to provide customers with access to the bejeweled splendor of the long-established fashion house that was founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945 who defined France’s fashion renaissance after World War II. Continuing in the trailblazing spirit of the brand’s founder, Olivier Rousteing is inspired by the confident style of modern women and incorporates the maison’s mastery of embroidery and embellishment into his collections. His love for detail can also be seen in the amazing packaging of the lipsticks: a decadent ode to precious materials, such as emerald-green malachite, blue lapis lazuli, and onyx.

Three colour collections embody three femininities:

SAFARI TRIBE (Green Case)
905 BALMAIN INSTINCT: Ysaunny Brito (Star Shade)
647 URBAN SAFARI: Alexina Graham
648 GLAMAZONE: Luma Grothe
469 FEVER: Maria Borges

ROCK TRIBE (Blue Case)
467 FREEDOM: Soo Joo Park ( Star Shade)
650 POWER: Valentina Sampaio
902 LEGEND: Neelam Gill
901 REBELLION: Grace Bol

COUTURE TRIBE (Black Case)
356 CONFIDENCE: Doutzen Kroes (Star Shade)
355 DOMINATION: Lara Stone
468 LIBERATION: Cindy Bruna
256 CONFESSION: Ming Xi

I was over the moon when this exclusive box arrived at my door step a few weeks ago so that I could test each one of the shades. Being a huge Balmain fan as you know, this is a collector’s piece that I will keep forever.
(The golden clutch is a vintage Balmain piece.)

My favorite shade of all? 256 CONFESSION. It is the perfect nude shade.
(Metallic jacquard jacketicon by Balmain.)

Time to have a piece of Balmain on your lips. The L’Oréal Paris x Balmain Paris capsule lipstick collection launches today September 20, 2017 for CHF 21.90 each, in Switzerland at Coop and Manor.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Balmain and © Sandra Bauknecht

Balmain to Partner with the Paris Opera

Balmain is collaborating with the Paris Opera on «Renaissance», a new creation from choreographer and dancer Sébastien Bertaud, with Balmain’s Creative Director Olivier Rousteing designing all of the ballet’s costumes.


The partnership builds upon the singular talents and visions of two young French talents – both Rousteing and Bertaud are thirty years old and both are from Bordeaux – and their shared appreciation for the history and traditions behind both, Balmain and the Paris Opera.

«Renaissance» forms part of the Bertaud / Bouché / Paul / Valastro performance at the Opera Garnier, running from June 13th through June 19th. The Paris Opera, which will soon celebrate its 350th anniversary, has placed the spotlight squarely on Bertaud and three other emerging creators from the Opera National de Paris, giving each carte blanche for their creation.

Bertaud’s ballet pays tribute to the refinement of the Ecole de Danse Française—from the Versailles of Louis XIV to the Opéra Garnier of today and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Since his creation celebrates the elegance, sophistication and opulence of the legendary French dance academy, Bertaud believed that a collaboration with Balmain was a natural fit.

Of course, it is an amazing honor to work with the Paris Opera,” notes Rousteing. “There are few institutions that embody so well the essence of French culture and creativity. Obviously, designing for the rigors and techniques of classical dance was a new challenge for me and my team – but it one that we very much enjoyed facing. As someone who has always been fascinated by the beauty and power of dance, this project was a joy to work on, giving me the unique opportunity to learn from and share ideas with a group of incredibly talented artists and craftsmen for whom nothing seems to be impossible.”

Rousteing’s designs highlight both the acclaimed savoir-faire of the Balmain’s atelier and the recognizable modern style of the designer. Impressive golden and silver embellishments cover flesh-colored performance pieces, with rhinestones and pearls embroidered directly onto bodysuits, tights and draped tees. A similar treatment has been given to the dancers’ spencer coats, cardigans and fringe skirts.

As a ballet addict, I am so much looking forward to seeing the final result of this beautiful collaboration!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Balmain

Balmain Brings the Supermodels Back

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Olivier Rousteing, Balmain‘s Creative Director, wrote yesterday on his instagram account: «U made me love FASHION yesterday, U make me love FASHION today, and U re going to make me love FASHION in the future.» In the pictures that he commented on, he was next to Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell.

His #BalmainArmy is in expansion mode and the three ’90s supermodels are the faces of the S/S 2016 campaign shot by Steven Meisel. Posing in the designer’s body-conscious and ruffled new seaon’s creations, they look as stunning as 20 years ago and are a perfect fit for the French Maison. Personally speaking, the three icons are so much more beautiful than Kendall and Gigi, the previous faces. I am sure this campaign will have a lot of success.

TO SHOP BALMAIN ONLINE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Balmain

Interview with Olivier Rousteing

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At the age of 30, Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of Balmain, is H&M‘s latest designer collaborator. Since five years , he has been at the helmet of the French fashion house and is one of the youngest creative directors in the world. He has shot to fame in the succeeding thanks to his glamorous designs and also his groundbreaking sense for social media. His vision is to combine pop culture, music and fashion.

         Together with Ann‑Sofie Johansson, the creative advisor at H&M, he answered some questions regarding his upcoming collaboration with H&M that will hit the stores worldwide tomorrow, November 5, 2015.

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            Olivier, how did you feel when H&M called you and asked you to be their newest collaborator?

       OR: It was just something amazing like «Oh, my God, it’s happening to me..». It was a dream come true because I’m H&M generation boy. For me being part of the H&M story, it’s an honor, it’s a privilege, it’s something that celebrates a vision and aesthetic.

            10 years ago I was part of the Cavalli collaboration. I was an assistant and now 10 years later I’m with Balmain, the creative director, and am building that amazing story. When H&M calls to ask for your aesthetic and vision, it’s a big achievement for a designer. I’m very proud to be part of it.

         Ann-Sofie, why did H&M want to work with Balmain and Olivier?

            ASJOlivier is a fantastic designer, of course. He achieved so many great things at Balmain. WE at H&M have a wish list of designers we would like to collaborate with. Olivier was on it. We also get a lot of questions from our customers, demands really, who to collaborate with next. Olivier was also one of the top names there.

            We were super happy when Olivier and Balmain said yes. It’s also fun to have a collaboration that is opposite to what we did last year with Wang, that was really sporty and streety. This time, it is opulent, glamorous and sexy. 

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            Olivier, we all know about the #BalmainArmy. The hashtag for this collaboration is #HMBalmaination. It is like a message of unity, something that is very important to you. Talk a little bit please about why is that so integral to Balmain and H&M.

            OR: I think I love fashion for two reasons. Because I love to do clothes and to deliver a vision of diversity and unity the same time. With H&M it was literally expressing the diversity.

            Also, why ‘nation’? In this nation I could have so many different people. First because obviously this line is more affordable than my own line. Building the Balmain Army means creating a nation that believes in my universe, the DNA of Balmain. With this collaboration, I can reach more people, different ages, also different continents because Balmain has not so many stores as H&M.

Kylie Jenner wearing H&M x Balmain

 Olivier, can you explain please why you decided to remake and sort of revise some of the greatest hits from your past four years?

OR: Because I still remember around 10 years ago when I was in the line to actually get the pieces from different collaborations for myself. I loved watching the runway shows and thought so many times, I wished I could afford this jacket or those pants. I remember my feeling of frustration.

            So now I can see with my Instagram, my followers, dreaming of some pearls, some different craftsmanship. Once in my life I want to make it up. Thanks to H&M, we can make it happen.

         Ann‑Sofie, like you said, this collection is very different than last year’s, which was Alexander Wang, really sporty. What was the process like for H&M? It obviously has a lot of lux detailing. Was that a new experience for everyone?

            ASJ: It was a challenge. Of course, there are different challenges with different collaborations. This time, it was the handcrafted details. We were I have to say a little bit scared if we were able to pull it off or not and now we’re super happy with the result. I know that Olivier is, as well. We work with really skilled suppliers that we’ve been working with for many, many years. They are also super proud of being part of this collaboration.

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  Was there a specific piece that was the most challenging?

            ASJ: All the pieces, but definitely the black and white dress, which is fully beaded. 250,000 pearls are on that dress.

          Olivier, how about you, how did you experience the collaboration?

OR: Drama (laughter). Working with H&M, it’s a big achievement because as a designer you push yourself so much more. You know the price range and it’s obvious that you can’t use some techniques, but you want to make sure it looks the best. I wanted to bring affordable couture and that’s why I’m really, really proud of the result.

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            To see the collection on the racks over there, there is a mix of embellished pieces, but you put some simpler things, like the sweater that Ann‑Sofie is wearing.

            OR: I think it’s important. When H&M contacted me, I asked myself: what is the Balmain DNA, what do we want to bring to the store? I said there are two pillars, the couture, but also the tailoring. Even for the simplest pieces, the fit is amazing, the fabric is good. I think we managed to find a real good balance for this collection. You can get a dress to party all night long and be really glamourous or you can opt for a jacket with buttons which you can wear during daytime.

         That’s why I talked about diversity. I think it was important to reach different kind of women.

_73A9065Olivier’s three muses: Jourdan Dunn, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner

            You are an Instagram star with 1.6 million followers now. I don’t think many other designers come close. Obviously your fans get a lot from you through social media. They learn about you and your life. What do you get as a designer and also what does Balmain and H&M get as brands from Instagram?

            OR: I think the most important part is that you get feedback from the people that love you and also from the ones that hate you. Social media today is a really nice way of advertising and showing who you are, what is your vision, what is your aesthetic.
 What is amazing with Instagram, if you want to know it, you can follow me. If you don’t want to, you can unfollow me. I think it’s a more honest way to actually share with people. You’re not really advertising, you’re just being yourself, taking selfies in the morning after showing what’s happening in your studio, showing the clothes, showing also how it could be hard work to make it up. I think people love to see the process.

  Personally speaking, it’s also a way to keep my feet on the ground because I find a way to keep contact with reality. I can read some comments, I can see how hard life can be for some people. It’s a good balance for my glamorous life.

     Let’s talk about the menswear, too as there’s a big selection. Did you approach that the same way with the idea of keeping the tailoring central but also the embellishments and embroideries?

            ORThis men’s collection is like an access to my closet. I love my double‑breasted jacket, I love my coats, my leather pants, my T‑shirts, my embroidered jackets. It’s like my personal wardrobe. Reminiscent of Instagram where I like to share, I wanted to give the exact same clothes to those who can’t afford what I’m doing. I’m really, really proud.

          Moreover, I am so happy that this menswear collection is something that a lot of women like and could actually wear. Balmain DNA is when a woman can also get the menswear jacket and everything. This is really interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of women are going to go for the menswear line also.

          Androgyny is very of much in the current vogue. People are talking about it a lot in fashion. Considering that Balmain’s DNA is so opulent and glamorous, it seems like it perhaps doesn’t really fit with this new trend. Like you say, it actually does.

            OR: Completely. I think Balmain is not only flamboyant and rich, because it has 200,000 beads on a dress. It’s because you can wear a menswear jacket and feel really strong, confident, not  afraid. That’s what I’m building with my Balmain Army, the H&M Balmain Nation. You know who you are with a menswear jacket, with a really short beaded dress. It’s about confidence and about believing in yourself.

What will this collaboration do for Balmain as a brand?

            OR: I think as a brand, is going to open the doors to our stores because Balmain is not known in some countries. It’s a great access to understand the Balmain world better, that it’s not only about the embroidery dress, but more about the tailoring. And it’s a great way to give younger people an access to Balmain.

Alessandra Ambrosia wearing the must-have jacket on the runway.

       Speaking about the clothes, do you both have favorites, any predictions on what you think will be the top sellers?

            OR: Yes, I have my favorite, it’s the double‑breasted jacket with the pearls and velvet that Kendall was wearing at the Billboards when we announced the collaboration. I love the pearls because it’s part of my first season. It’s kind of emotional for me, but I’m really proud that this jacket is going to be in stores.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Jacket_HM_BalmainMe wearing the black jacket with gold buttons.

What are a the key pieces of this collection that you can recommend that you can start a great closet with?

            OR: The black jacket with gold buttons is a perfect start. You can wear it as a dress if you want to or you can wear it as a jacket. Thanks to Ann‑Sofie who made it slightly longer.

            This jacket in particular is really iconic for me because it’s really Balmain. It’s black, simple with six gold buttons. Wear it like a tuxedo jacket with pants, or as a dress with the high boots that we also sell. It’s a real statement jacket.

Thank you, Olivier and Ann-Sofie for this lovely interview!

Don’t forget tomorrow the Balmain x H&M collection will hit the shelves…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M, Balmain and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: New York Nights

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New York nights are truly special. The city that never sleeps has that certain vibe that let’s you be full of energy. Here you see me leaving to the H&M x Balmain launch party. I wore this Balmain dress which is one of the iconic vintage pieces that inspired Olivier Rousteing for his designer collaboration with the Swedish fashion brand. I got a lot of compliments for it that night!

My look: Feather cape and embellished metallic jacquard mini dress, bothicon by Balmain, studded bucket bag by Miu Miu, suede overknee boots and earrings, both by Dior, Limelight Gala watch by Piaget and diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

At the #HMBalmaination Party in NYC

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What a night in NYC! I am still overwhelmed by this glam and fun event where the fashion and Hollywood elite joined forces on Wall Street to celebrate the launch of the amazing collaboration between Balmain and H&M. More is more is definitely something that goes for the Parisian Maison and yesterday was proof for it!

”Tonight has been a dream come true for me. The energy and vibe are unbelievable.” – Olivier Rousteing

Sandra_Bauknecht_Olivier_Rousteing_BalmainOlivier Rousteing with me last night

Just like the opulent collection designed by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing, the party in the Big Apple was extra everything. Rousteing, who is bringing the brand’s DNA of music, couture, luxury and pop culture – he is the designer with the biggest instagram follower ship – together, said: ”Tonight has been a dream come true for me. The energy and vibe are unbelievable.” He created the hashtag #HMBalmaination where people could follow live the best moments of the night.

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When I arrived at 23, Wall Street, I entered the highly secured venue over the stairs and found an ambiance similar to a subway system, referencing the campaign film – where Kendall Jenner, Olivier’s muse and friend, stars as the leader of a dance crew. While enjoying champagne, I mingled with the A-list crowd of top models, celebrities and Hollywood actors.

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Sandra_Bauknecht_Ellie_GouldingSinger Ellie Goulding with me

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After the cocktail reception, I entered the next hall where the runway was built over two stories. Before the show actually started, a live dance performance took place as well as an exclusive sneak peek of the campaign music video. The guests were truly cheered up when Kendall Jenner opened the  catwalk, followed by some of the hottest models in the industry right now.

Front Row_HMBalmainationSwiss front row power: Kerstin Netsch, Editor in Chief Friday Magazine and Caroline Piccinin, Le Matin with me in the middle.

Kendall Jenner-First Look_HMBalmainationKendall Jenner opening the runway

Jourdan Dunn_HMBalmainationJourdan Dunn

Alessandra_AmbrosioAlessandra Ambrosio wearing Olivier Rousteing’s favorite piece from the collection: the pearl-embroidered jacket.

Gigi_Hadid_HMBalmainationGigi Hadid

KarlieKloss_HMBalmainationKarlie Kloss was my favorite on the runway.

Toni_Garn_HMBalmainationToni Garrn

The collection is all about affordable luxury. Olivier Rousteing took some of his best creations he designed over the past seasons and made them into one collection. Compared to other designer collaborations H&M did in previous years, the pieces are more expensive but I am still pretty amazed how this craftsmanship is possible for that amount of money. The collection is truly beautiful with lots of items you can enjoy for a very long time.

BackstreetBoys_BalmainationThe Backstreet Boys

After the show, it was all about the music and energy. A live concert by the Backstreet Boys took guests back in time, especially my humble self as over 20 years ago, I was with them on a Germany tour with my own band. Personally speaking, the Balmain x H&M launch party was one of those nights you never want to end!

BackstreetBoys Perform in front of the ALISt CrowdOlivier Rousteing and his friends, among them Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Alessandra Ambrosio, cheered to the Backstreet Boys.

The Balmain x H&M collection features fashion and accessories for both men and women, and will be available in selected stores and at hm.com starting November 5.

Now have fun to scroll through some more impressions of the night and check back in for more updates as I just uploaded my own photos today. The internet is too slow… there is much more coming up. Now I have some appointments in NYC before I am heading back home!
Talk to you when I am in Europe…

LoL, Sandra

Sandra_Bauknecht_Rene_ZiboldRené Zibold, PR and Communication Manager at H&M Switzerland (@monsieurené), is looking good in my marabou stole.

HMBalmaination - 11Guests being crazy about the red carpet arrivals.

Sandra_Bauknecht_Diane_KruegerGerman actress Diane Kruger

IMG_3327Amazing ambiance.

BackstreetBoys_HMBalmainationWe couldn’t get enough of the Backstreet Boys!

Caroline_Peccinin_Sandra_BauknechtAlways a lot of fun with my colleague Caroline Piccinin from Le Matin in Geneva.

IMG_3324The normal craziness at the pop-up store late at night.

POP_UP_STORE_HMBALMAINATIONThe clothes come well-protected in plastic hangers.

Olivier at the pop-up storeOlivier Rousteing even joined in the shopping fun late at night.

All Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Ready for #HMBalmaination

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Hello from New York City where I arrived yesterday. Tonight is the night: H&M x Balmain‘s launch ​party celebration will take place starting at 7pm local time with cocktails, followed by the fashion show, a concert and of course the pop-up store where guests are able to shop the collection before it will officially hit the stores on November 5, 2015.

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I will be attending the event tonight and keep you updated on instagram @sandrascloset but you can also watch the live stream HERE or follow the #HMBalmaination hashtag to see whats happening at the show!

Below are some of my first impressions:

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Still breathtaking: the first view on NYC when you come from the airport.

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My hotel: The Nomo Soho, the former Mondrian Hotel, where I also stayed three years ago for the H&M x Maison Martin Margiela launch event.

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The view from my hotel room.

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A gift: the beautiful scarf.

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Now, I am on my way to preview the collection ahead of the show and to interview Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director of Balmain and the fashion designer with the most instagram followers on earth.

Stay tuned for my report from the event coming up soon…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of H&M and © Sandra Bauknecht

Next Stop: NYC for #HMBalmaination

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On Monday morning, I will be on my way to NYC for the launch event of H&M x Balmain and I couldn’t be anymore excited about it. First of all, I love the French Maison as you know and second of all, H&M throws the best parties for their designer collaborations.

Do you remember…
2011 H&M x Versace in NYC
2012 H&M x Maison Martin Margiela in NYC
2013 H&M x Isabel Marant in Paris
2014 H&M x Alexander Wang in NYC

Below you can take a peek at what’s to come. I included for you photos of the campaign and the lookbook. You will be absolutely amazed!

From draped satin skirts to skintight pants, from embellished dresses to the iconic wide belts, all pieces are shockingly affordable Balmain signatures that are as desirable as the runway collections Olivier Rousteing shows on the Paris catwalk season after season.

Balmaination 4A little preview of the collection that took place in May 2015 Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing showed up with models Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner, all wearing Balmain x H&M, at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Many of those must-haves are reimaginings of the French Maison’s classics, here are some examples:

Balmaination-Look 1Left: H&M x Balmain – Right: Balmain F/W 2013 Look 8

Balmaination Look 2Left: H&M x Balmain – Right: Balmain F/W 2012 Look 7

Enjoy the whole collection below and stay tuned for more coming up from NYC. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @sandrascloset for live updates!

LoL, Sandra

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Photos: Jason Merritt/Getty Images, via Vogue.com and Courtesy of H&M

H&M x Balmain

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Last night at the Billboard Music Awards, Balmain‘s Olivier Rousteing arrived on the red carpet with Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner in gorgeous outfits which obviously seemed to be by the French house.

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However, Rousteing took the opportunity to tell the world that the ensembles were actually a first look at Balmain’s upcoming collaboration with H&M that will hit the stores worldwide on November 5, 2015. What great news to start the week!

LoL, Sandra

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
#HMBALMANATION