Exclusive: Olivier Rousteing on the All-New Balmain x Chivas XV Collection
If fashion and whisky are two of your favourite things, you are in for a treat this October as Scotch whisky company Chivas and fashion house Balmain have teamed up to launch an exclusive, limited-edition Balmain x Chivas XV collection that includes beautifully adorned bottles of Scotch whisky.
The collection will feature two limited-edition bottle designs that have been developed by Chivas in partnership with Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing.
It will beautifully meld Balmain’s daring outlook on fashion with Chivas’ disruptive approach to scotch which features their unique way of finishing its aged whisky in cognac casks.
“Just like Balmain, Chivas has always adhered to the highest standards with neither house being afraid to push boundaries and break with outdated conventions,” said Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of Balmain.
He added: “Those already familiar with the Balmain universe will note that this unique collaboration includes a signature motif of the house—the oversized golden chain. Whenever I’ve included that eye-catching adornment in my collections, it has served as a bold symbol of the defiant spirit of our rebellious and inclusive Balmain Army—a bold and audacious attitude that both Chivas and Balmain celebrate.”
The collection drops globally on October 5 and will see extremely limited and individually numbered gold bottles going on sale. They will be adorned with metallic armour and chains in a nod to Balmain’s signature runway pieces.
The second drop on the other hand will bring to life Balmain’s recognisable silhouette, through a symmetrical design of chains and belts directly inspired by the house’s recent collections.
If you are interested in this limited edition drop, you can register your interest here.
In honour of this exclusive partnership, Tatler sat down with Rousteing to talk about the inspiration behind the collaboration and more. Read on to find out his thoughts on the drop.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Chivas?
Olivier Rousteing (OR): Over the past decade, each collaboration that I’ve worked on—whether the partner was best known for beauty, tech, skiwear, classical ballet, scents or high-street fashion—has always involved a lot of shared inspirations, decisions and objectives. After all, the point is to make sure that we can actually channel the distinct Balmain DNA into everything we do.
It’s always humbling to try to work in a new field—there’s just so much to learn. But I believe that we can only truly grow when we challenge ourselves.
That learning process is one of the big reasons why I loved every second of this partnership: the team at Chivas was so amazingly patient with me, explaining the limitations and possibilities at each step of our long design process.
How did the Chivas XV partnership come about?
OR: When the Chivas team came to me to propose this collaboration, I was at first very sceptical. First of all, I needed to ensure that Chivas understood and embraced the same values that set Balmain apart: a love of heritage and an embrace of change. It didn’t take long to see that we are on the same wavelength.
What is the idea behind the collaboration and what does Balmain bring to it?
OR: Both Balmain and Chivas are historic houses that stand out in their respective universes because of their shared determination to meld together luxury heritage and precise artisanal skills with a completely modern outlook that reflects how we want to live today.
That’s why we’ve incorporated so many signature Balmain designs and our easily recognized runway codes into the packaging and unique bottle design. We really want that connection to be clear from the beginning.
Tell us about the design process behind the collaboration?
OR: After being taught by the Chivas experts exactly why Chivas XV was such a singularly delicate and uniquely refined 15-year-old Scotch whisky, my goal was to make sure that the design made as clear as possible that this packaging and bottle contained something rare, something of great value.
And, well, when you treasure something valuable, it means that it’s something worth defending, right? So, that called to mind a very popular motif from Balmain’s runways: an eye-catching and intricately patterned over-sized golden chain that my team and I created. For this partnership, we’ve reworked that iconic chain to create this collaboration’s coat of armour—a tough shield for an important creation that’s definitely worth protecting.
How do you enjoy Chivas XV?
OR: I live in a quiet old house in the East of Paris near the Bastille, very, very far from the traditional centre of Paris luxury fashion. I love the quiet of that space and often, when I return home from work in the evening (which is usually way, way too late), I love to just sit and soak in the quiet of that moment (especially after a day of non-stop bedlam and anxiety).
Those quiet moments are all for me—and it’s a perfect moment to listen to some new music, sit back, savour a refined drink and just chill.