Balmain‘s first Italian flagship store has opened in Milan at Via Montenapoleone 27D. The 280-meter, two-floor store, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing designed it in collaboration with Paris’s Studio AMV in the spirit of a traditional Paris hôtel particulier.
The boutique is the first include a Virtual Reality component where passersby in town for the annual Salone del Mobile will witness an unusual site: shoppers strapped into Oculus VR headsets designed by Rousteing in the window.
Rousteing is making a habit of christening new stores with tech-world collaboration reveals. In addition to putting his Midas touch on the headset, Rousteing has created the virtual experience inside it—a metaphorical journey through the creative process designed to trigger the feelings Rousteing experiences during the genesis of his collections.
“I wanted to make sure people are in my brain,” the designer said. “I want them to discover my feelings.” The development process was all-new for Rousteing, who had never experienced VR before this project. He’s excited about the platform’s potential to alter the design process. “All my own sketches, I was doing them around me in 3-D,” he said of wearing the headset. “It’s a new way of approaching fashion, it’s exciting.” He also seems confident that VR or other technologies will soon be impacting the fashion show system. “Fashion is more inclusive that ever,” he pointed out, “and there’s no better way to include more people than through technology and digital.”