Balmain pops-up at One Hour Ahead Gallery
French fashion house Balmain has opened its first retail venture in Aspen with an interactive shopping experience incorporating fashion, technology, and art.
According to Emily George, Balmain’s president for the Americas, there could not have been a more perfect location to host the brand’s winter pop-up.
“Aspen has become a top destination for the holiday season in the U.S., with exciting restaurants, 5-star hotels, and designer-fashion brands taking residence in the beautiful town at the bottom of the mountain. When thinking of a destination to present the Balmain Apres Ski Collection to our existing and new clientele, Aspen was the immediate and easy choice,” she said.
Founded in post-war Paris, Balmain was central to the creation of “New French Style” featuring strong maximalist glamor.
In October 1945, founder Pierre Balmain held his debut show, introducing curve-enhancing silhouettes, like bell-shaped skirts nipped in at the waist, embroidered fabrics, and the brand’s signature tailored jackets (which still retain their iconic shapes from the 1940s).
Between his long tenure and today, Balmain has been led by seven more heads of design.
Renowned Dominican-designer Oscar de la Renta featured his own take on elegance in 1994 by leaning into a more conventional femininity. His designs, though beautiful, were not as bold and risky as the Balmain we know today.
In 2011, at age 25 and relatively unknown, Olivier Rousteing became creative director of Balmain and brought a fresh take on the brand’s aesthetic, which remains to this day, embracing music, entertainment, social media, and technology as ways to communicate directly with fans (known as the Balmain Army) and tell the brand’s story.
Balmain’s pop-up will take over the 2,300-square-foot gallery space at One Hour Ahead in downtown Aspen and will showcase the Egyptian-inspired Resort 2023 collection and Balmain Apres Ski that will also be available to shop.
Guests entering the space will be greeted by a virtual experience to Villa Balmain — the haven commissioned by Pierre Balmain on the Italian isle of Elba and built by the visionary Italian architect Leonardo Ricci — where they can view “Hexagon Garden” by Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea and powered by LITO, which was first presented during Art Basel Miami Beach.
“Partnering with art gallery One Hour Ahead provided us the opportunity to create an experience for our customers that links art, technology, and the exquisite Balmain Prespring 23, in a warm and inviting atmosphere that welcomes guests in an apres ski environment as they descend the mountain for some champagne and shopping,” said George.
In celebration of The Gant’s 50th year, they are making incremental changes and elevating what the venue has to offer in terms of food, beverage, and event experiences on-site.