Disney, Balmain Celebrate 30th Anniversary of ‘The Lion King’

The limited-edition collection is designed by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing.

License Global

July 2, 2024

4 Min Read
Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” collection, Joel Anderson
Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” collectionJoel Anderson

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney Animation Studios’ classic, “The LionKing” and the upcoming theatrical release of “Mufasa: The Lion King” in December, the Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” collection will be released worldwide on July 8.

For the limited-edition offering, Balmain creative director, Olivier Rousteing, and his team have created a collection of ready-to-wear pieces and accessories for men and women. The designs build directly upon Disney’s acclaimed storytelling, as well as the theme and cast of characters.  This collection marks the first collaboration between Disney and the historic French fashion house.                 

“Working on this collaboration was a dream come true,” says Rousteing. “I was only nine years old when ‘The Lion King’ was first released, but still today, almost three decades later, I only need to close my eyes to replay that incredible mix of music, images and emotions. The lessons that I absorbed, as I sat, absolutely transfixed by what was happening on the giant screen in front of me, have remained with me for my entire life.”

Signature Balmain silhouettes and the impressive embellishment and tailoring skills of the house of Balmain are evident throughout this limited-edition offering. In addition, there is a clear continuation of Rousteing’s examination of his personal biography, reflected in his fascination with the brilliant creativity that sets apart African craft and artistry.

This collaboration also shines a spotlight directly upon a new generation of young African talents. Both Disney and Balmain are proud of their long traditions of championing emerging artists and this new collection builds upon that shared history, introducing a grouping of fresh and appealing visions to a global audience. South African painter, Nika Mtwana, created a compelling Afrofuturistic portrait for the collection cleverly managing to incorporate a scene from “The Lion King” into his work, via a reflection on the lens of his subject’s sunglasses. Rousteing adapted Mtwana’s design into the colorful prints that cover some of the limited-edition collection’s tees, tops and dresses. Cameroonian painter, Enfant Precoce, concentrates on Disney’s Simba, with his artwork showing “The Lion King” star navigating through a dreamlike landscape filled with an array of African wildlife. Precoce’s design, in an array of black-and-white and multi-colored variations, covers totes, coats, suits, tees and gowns. South African painter, Cassius Khumalo, relies on a striking mix of vivid blue, deep black and gold-foil to create an eye-catching portrait of Disney’s Nala, the film’s strong and independent lioness. Khumalo’s powerful image has been adapted for a series of totes, tees and hoodies.

The collection is showcased in a short film directed by Femi Oladigbolu and produced by Disney in collaboration with Balmain. Shot at different locations in South Africa’s Western Cape province, the film seamlessly weaves together impressive natural beauty and the striking silhouettes, patterns and colors of the new collection, as it follows a Rousteing-led Balmain Army, composed of 30 models from across Africa, making its way through stunning landscapes before arriving at a joyous homecoming celebration. The film will be shown during the July 5 “Lion King In Concert” evening at London’s Royal Albert Hall, featuring the Chineke! Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks.

“In celebration of the 30th anniversary of “The Lion King,” Olivier Rousteing and the team at Balmain created a vibrant and powerful collection, beautifully capturing the heart and essence of the iconic film and the spirit of Africa,” says Tasia Filippatos, president, Disney Consumer Products. “This collaboration continues Disney’s lasting legacy of working with global visionaries and spotlighting future generations of creatives.”

To further highlight Rousteing’s personal journey, ABC-Owned Television Stations presents the documentary special, “On The Red Carpet Storytellers Spotlight: Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ x Balmain,” as well as a special episode of “Localish Unfiltered,” which will premiere on Hulu and the ABC-Owned Television Stations’ streaming and digital platforms on July 10. It is executive produced by Nzinga Blake, executive producer, “Race & Culture” at ABC Owned Television Stations.

The Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” collection will launch on July 8, online at Balmain.com and at Balmain locations and fashion boutiques worldwide. Pop-up boutiques filled with the collection’s offerings will open on July 8 inside Los Angeles’ Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills and July 11 inside Hong Kong’s Harbor City. In London, both Selfridges and Harrods will feature the collection. In Paris, the large windows at Balmain’s rue Saint Honoré flagship will be dedicated to the entire collection.

About the Author(s)

License Global

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