Balmain has released a short film exploring the idea brotherhood for the launch of its new sneaker range. Dropping today, the collection features three new silhouettes which, like the film, draw on the military influences that are a longstanding cornerstone of the Parisian brand’s design DNA.

Shot by Berlin-based creative director Vitali Gelwich and produced in partnership with Highsnobiety, the dream-like clip is inspired by army life and the unity and camaraderie among troops, which Vitali reinterprets more broadly as “brotherhood”.

“It’s a very metaphorical word that stands for support, for family, for a union,” explains Gelwich. “The people who surround me are like family and what we have is like a brotherhood. It’s very intimate, we support each other. The same way they do in the military or at high school.”

Highsnobiety / Vitali Gelwich

Although the military references are clear as is the nod to Balmain’s famed army, the clip remains open to interpretation with no defined narrative.

“It’s like a fragment of a dream. There is no start, there is no end, but you still see sequences that everyone feels familiar with,” says Gelwich. “Some scenes feel real, some feel surreal, and they fuse into each other.”

While it’s easy to drift away in the emotive clip, shift the attention to the models’ feet and you’ll be treated to a closer look at Balmain’s three new sneaker silhouettes.

Tying in with the overarching theme, the collection is inspired by military footwear with the hero silhouette titled the Troop sneaker boot. As described by Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing, “It’s going to be the definition of the army sneaker, a true military sneaker.”

Highsnobiety / Vitali Gelwich
Highsnobiety / Vitali Gelwich

Taking cues from soldiers’ footwear, the Troop boasts a high-cut ankle, metallic Fidlock buckle closure, and either full leather or nylon upper. Balmain-branded tape wraps over the laces to finish off the kicks.

Highsnobiety / Vitali Gelwich

Presented alongside the Troop are two other new silhouettes – the Glove and the B-Ball. Bringing a fashion-forward feel to the drop, the Glove features a full leather sock-like upper secured with a zip along the heel and finished with Balmain branding embossed on the front. Meanwhile, the B Ball draws inspiration from basketball silhouettes and boasts a mid-cut height, leather paneled upper, and extended outsole that adds a modern edge to the design.

The collection is available now at Balmain’s exclusive pop-up at Selfridges London and on selfridges.com, and drops online at Balmain.com on July 8.

  • Director & Photographer: Vitali Gelwich
  • Executive Producer: Klaudia Podsiadlo
  • Casting Director: Dominik Wimmer
  • 1st Assistant Director: Anne Thieme
  • Producer: Melody Micmacher (Stink Films Berlin)
  • Project Manager: Johanna Gerhart
  • Production Assistant: Fallon Stang
  • Production Assistant: Florian Hülbig
  • Talent: Noah Samassa at M4 Models
  • Talent: Julius Gerhardt at Success Models Paris
  • Talent: Matty Carrington at Select Model Management
  • Talent: Lamine Faty at The Claw Models Paris
  • Music: La Femme - "Le vide est ton nouveau prénom" (Marlon Magnee / Sacha Got) - Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing France
  • Director of Photography: Maximilian Pittner
  • 1st Assistant Camera: Daniel Merget
  • 2nd Assistant Camera: Tobias Blicke
  • Steadicam Operator: Yoshua Berkowitz
  • Stylist: Christian Stemmler
  • Stylist Assistant: Ina Witzel
  • Set Designer: Emilia Margulies
  • Set Designer Assistant: Graziano Capitta
  • Make up Artist: Ischrak Nitschke
  • Hair stylist: Dushan Petrovich
  • 1st Photo Assistant: Simon Schreiner
  • 2nd Photo Assistant: Paul Skulimma
  • 3rd Photo Assistant: Lukas Wenninger
  • Editor: Jacob Ipsen at Sec Studio
  • Colorist: Luke Morrison at Electric Theatre
  • Online Edit: Saltwater Berlin
  • Special Thanks: Daria Marie Küpker, Marie Niemann
Words by Lucy Thorpe
Branded Content Editor
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