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Balmain x Disney The Lion King Collection by Olivier Rousteing

Balmain x Disney The Lion King Collection by Olivier Rousteing

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Two iconic brands — Disney and Balmain — have intersected to create something magical. In honor of The Lion King‘s 30th anniversary and ahead of the upcoming theatrical release of Mufasa: The Lion King in December, Balmain has materialized a ready-to-wear and accessories collection inspired by the story, the characters and the African landscape. And in typical Balmain taste, each piece is met with impeccable tailoring and the house’s signature “New French Style.”

Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing has always had a special connection to the film. Simply put, this collaboration makes perfect sense. “I was only nine when The Lion King was first released, but today, I only need to close my eyes to replay all of that beautiful music, images and emotions,” Rousteing tells THR.

“As I was watching that solitary lion cub construct his own unique and chosen family, while he searched for truth about his heritage — as an adopted child just beginning to wonder about his own origins, that story really hit me particularly hard,” the designer continues.

For this specific project, Rousteing and his team tapped three next-gen artists to create prints: Cameroonian painter Enfant Precoce, South African painter Cassius Khumalo and South African painter Nika Mtwana, who told THR that Rousteing and Disney “expressed how much they really wanted [him] to stay true to [his] creative vision” throughout the design process.

Balmain also partnered with London-based Nigerian director Femi Oladigbolu to create a short film featuring the collection, set within the African landscape that inspired it.

This certainly isn’t the first time Rousteing has incorporated African craft and artistry into his collections. “Those who know me, already know that my designs for the house always end up reflecting aspects of my own personal biography,” the creative director tells THR. “So, ever since the discovery that my birth parents were originally from Somalia and Ethiopia, Africa’s beautiful weavings, patterns and embroideries have been providing strong inspirations for me and my Balmain design team.”

Inspired by this project, Rousteing further explored his roots and visited Africa for the very first time. The designer’s travels and full collaboration journey are documented in the upcoming special: On The Red Carpet Storytellers Spotlight: Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ x Balmain, streaming on Hulu beginning July 10 at 7 a.m. PT.

Watch an exclusive first look at the documentary here, and check out more from the Balmain x The Lion King collection at Saks.com. Plus, shop a few favorites from the capsule below.

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