January 11, 2017
French fashion house Balmain is portraying the inseparability of music and fashion in this season’s advertising.
The label’s spring/summer 2017 campaign features models journeying along a road against an undefined landscape, guided by a path lined with surreal speakers. Creative director Olivier Rousteing has frequently communicated music’s influence on his work through campaigns, whether looking to recording artists as inspiration or models.
Left, right, left
Balmain’s campaign, shot by photographer Steven Klein, was captured on a deserted highway in California. While many campaigns cast a locale as a star in their ads, Balmain instead chose the setting for its ability to be perceived as any time, place or season.
A cast of models that includes Isabeli Fontana, Natasha Poly, Doutzen Kroes, Gabriel Aubry, Tony Ward and Jon Kortajarena are seen walking along a paved road surrounded by sand dunes. Adding a dream-like quality to the images, tall speakers are placed on the edges of their path.
Image from Balmain's spring/summer 2017 ad campaign
In addition to the soundtrack, models also pick up megaphones, using them to spread messages to their fellow Balmain Army recruits.
Balmain’s fall/winter 2016 campaign film went viral thanks to the celebrity of collaborator Kanye West.
Released as a music video for the recording artist’s song “Wolves,” the video stars a cast that includes Mr. West’s wife Kim Kardashian-West and a bevy of top models. Since its July 29 premiere on the rapper’s YouTube channel, the campaign has been viewed more than 16 million times, giving the house a platform to reach an audience that extends past its own social followers (see story).