Balmain’s fall 2016 Paris Fashion Week showing earlier this month was an extravaganza, but not only because of the clothes and footwear; the presentation of best friends Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner really stirred things up in the fashion industry. Balmain Hair Couture, the lesser-known division under Balmain, created wigs for the two models, so they could “swap” their natural hair colors for the runway show. Jenner was an ice queen with Hadid’s blonde hair, and Hadid took on Jenner’s deep brown locks.
The two women have a combined total of 67 million followers on Instagram alone, so naturally their social media blew up with mentions and statements. This has been the largest outbreak of press for the hair division, which has now expressed intent to expand. The wigs for this show were an outbreak showing, and there could not have been a more successful medium to feature it than on Jenner and Hadid.
Although, this wasn’t the first time the brand successfully used wigs in their shows; in fact, its fall/winter 2016 men’s runway featured female models with long, 60-cm dreadlocks, and the spring/summer 2016 women’s runway featured sleek ponytails, which also came from the Balmain Couture Hair brand. The impact was only so notable once the audience was given a shock like this, seeing one of the world’s most beloved models team with each other’s hair.
Balmain, the luxury brand as we know it, and Balmain Hair, previously known as Euro Hair, are two separate companies, but Balmain Hair CEO Steward Guliker remarked that the two are, “more or less married.” Guliker and Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing have great things going with their virtual partnership, clearly now more than ever.
“We are very excited about the energy that Rousteing has generated,” said Guliker. Between Balmain’s high place in the luxury fashion industry and Guliker’s clear expertise in execution of wig-making, the energy was bound to be released at some point. Balmain Hair has everything the fashion label would need for runway shows, as well as for the general public, with everything from everyday haircare products to styling tools and wigs and weaves.
If you have the capability of dropping a lot of money on a chic new Balmain outfit, you might as well give your hair a luxury experience as well. Even still, the prices of the premium products aren’t astronomical. Balmain Hair was likely hoping to use this time to target millennials above all others, and more specifically, Guliker is setting his sights on American markets. This is the demographic that relates most closely to the modeling duo, and is also very susceptible to new, young trends, especially when the result is so striking.
“Changing your lips from purple to red, that’s nice and you can get a reaction,” Guliker began. But changing your hair – it’s a shock effect. That’s what people like to do and be noticed. As for now, it’s not a question of whether this trend will catch on (if Hadid and Jenner do it, there will definitely be a following), but rather if Balmain Hair will remain at the helm of it.
Photo courtesy of Livingly