Following the brand's digital Fall/Winter 2021 fashion show, Balmain presented its collaboration with Mattel. A virtual Barbie and Ken appeared in the same location where Olivier Rousteing's models took over the runway, a.k.a. the wing of an AirFrance plane.
The CGI dolls boasted double-breasted blazers with pagoda shoulders and gold buttons. The images of the dolls are complemented by based on archival bags from 1945 designed by the House's founder Pierre Balmain himself.
Rousteing admitted that he played Barbie as a child, but kept everything a secret from his parents. “I remember my father didn’t want me to hold a Barbie in my hand, but I think it’s wrong,” he said. In the photoshoot, Rousteing plays on the notion of blue and pink as gender-specific colors by suiting both Ken and Barbie in the two colors as a way to contradict gender stereotypes.