Olivier Rousteing and Swiss eyewear brand Akoni have been working for close to a year to create Balmain’s first ultra-luxe collection of made-in-Japan sunglasses. The plan was to debut them at the Balmain women’s show in Paris this February, but when Rousteing first saw the finished product he decided he couldn’t wait until Paris Fashion Week to birth them into the world.
“As soon as I saw them, I was determined to have them immediately,” said Rousteing. “Although I knew it would cause more than a little bit of chaos, extra work and late nights, I had to have them—and I had to have them now. So, I pressured all teams to push up the introduction of the glasses, in order to let me incorporate them into my January men’s show. This collection aligns so perfectly with my message—they’re the ideal Balmain accessory for my designs. There was no question—they had to be a part of my January [menswear] runway.”
“I’m crazy about the whole line, but there is one particular design that is very much me,” he added. “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.”
“Just like us, Olivier likes to always push the envelope,” said 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, [designed] in Los Angeles, and [produced] 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.”
Balmain Eyewear by Akoni, priced from 500 to over 1000 Euros, will be carried online, beginning April 2020, at Balmain.com, in Balmain boutiques worldwide, and at select luxury retailers.