EYE: Balmain & L'Oreal Paris UNITED WE ARE INVINCIBLE Campaign Brings Fashion Tribes Together


In the age of Trump, the L'Oreal Paris and Balmain collaboration is exactly what we need. Olivier Rousteing's Balmain army stands strong with 12 diverse top models fronting the campaign behind the core message: UNITED, WE ARE INVINCIBLE.

The capsule collection includes 12 couture matte shades by Color Riche in shades ranging from deep plums to sweet pinks. Models Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone, Cindy Bruna, Ming Xi, Luma Grothe, Neelam Gill, Alexia Graham, Valentina Sampaio, Soo Joo Park, Grace Bol and Maria Borges appear in the advertisements.

The diverse range of models, hailing from all over the world, was an intentional choice to not just show the play of color across various skin tones, but to champion diversity — an especially topical theme in the aftermath of Charlottesville and Barcelona.  

Headlines in today's news include How Germany Deals With Neo-Nazis and a truly-sad one Calais Brawls leave 20 migrants injured. The fighting of 200 migrants threatening each other with sticks and iron bars involved five mass brawls that mainly pitted Afghans against Eritreans.

The real world is knocking on fashion's door.  While we drift above it, the knocking is louder every day, making this Balmain/L'Oreal Paris campaign unusually relevant. For all politically-correct types who might critique it as superficial, I say it's great. 

"No matter your origin, no matter your tribe. Come together, be seen, be heard. United, we are invincible. Because we are all worth it," Balmain's 31-year-old Olivier Rousteing says about the collaboration.

According to a joint statement released by the brands on Monday, the casting is meant to reflect “three tribes of L’Oréal Paris and Balmain Paris femininity,” much like the line’s Rock, Couture and Glamazone themes, each housing four shades designed to suit a range of complexions and send “a message of beauty in diversity and female empowerment.”


The top model campaign crew wears rock 'n' roll-inspired fall 2017 Balmain collection in the ads. Each model wore one of the 12 matte shades, which run the gamut from nudes (a creamy taupe, a warm beige) to bold jewel tones (sapphire blue, royal violet). “Now we realize that we need a moment of flamboyance and maximalism, and to take risks," said Rousteing of the statement-making hues. 

Following the release of the lipsticks, which will arrive in stores at Barneys and online on L'Oreal Paris' website on Sept. 20, Balmain is also releasing a collection of necklaces featuring a lipstick-style pendant embellished with gold tassles. 


Related: Neo-Nazis are using fashion in an attempt to normalize. The fashion industry needs to speak up. by Robin Givhan at Washington Post