Fashion & Beauty

The Lion’s Pride: Disney and Balmain celebrate ‘The Lion King’?

Can you feel the love tonight? 

Today marks the official unveiling of Balmain’s collaboration with Disney, celebrating 30 years of “The Lion King.” For Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing — whose work you may recall from Margot Robbie’s pink-filled “Barbie” press tour — the collection was an opportunity to delve into his own treasured memories of seeing the film as a kid, while exploring the rich cultural roots of the film’s African setting.

“I was only 9 years old when ‘The Lion King’ was first released,” recalled Rousteing, “but still today, almost three decades later, I only need to close my eyes to replay that incredible mix of music, images and emotions.”

In addition to the auspicious anniversary, the collection also arrives months before the December release of “Mufasa: The Lion King.” So it’s the perfect time to collaborate with a fashion house known for honoring its own abundant archive — dating back to 1945 — while keeping an eye toward the future.

“The Lion King” comes to life as never before in a brand-new collaboration between Disney and French fashion house Balmain. Joel Anderson

Enlisting three African designers to create bespoke designs for the collection, Rousteing brought the timeless story to life in an array of ready-to-wear and couture pieces. 

Cameroonian painter Enfant Précoce contributed lively scenes of protagonist Simba exploring the world alongside “The Lion King’s” zoological supporting characters, available in colorful and black-and-white renderings. An Afrofuturistic portrait — the work of South African painter Nika Mtwanan — displays a figure wearing sunglasses in which an iconic scene from the beloved film is reflected. South African painter Cassius Khumalo, finally, is behind the richly-hued portrait of Nala, the adventurous lioness who comes of age alongside Simba in the film.

In addition to these evocative artworks — adapted for the collection across an array of garments and accessories — there are pieces that feel like a direct continuation of the innovative Balmain styles for which Rousteing is known: mini dresses that blend glamor with armor, adaptations of Balmain’s signature B-Buzz handbag and seductive, futuristic flourishes.

Writer-director Femi Oladigbolu’s short film — shot in South Africa — captures the brilliant colors and vibrant textures which characterize the couture collection. Joel Anderson

The whole spectacle was captured in a Disney-produced short film by writer-director Femi Oladigbolu, where the collection is brought to life on 30 models from all across Africa. Rousteing calls it a “Balmain Army” — an altogether appropriate title for the formidable tapestry of rich colors, textures and patterns that come together when the collection is visible in full force.

Available now on Balmain’s website and in select locations worldwide, the luxe collaboration is yours to own. Hakuna Matata and happy shopping.

Disney x Balmain : “The Lion King” — Relaxed T-shirt with Sunset Print


Disney x Balmain “The Lion King” — Cropped T-shirt with Cassius Khumalo Print


Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” — B-Buzz Dynasty Bag with Enfant Précoce Print


Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” — Satin Pyjama Shirt with Nika Mtwana Print


Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” — B-Court High Top Trainers with Enfant Précoce Print


Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” — Short Dress in Multicolored Rolled Knit


Disney x Balmain: “The Lion King” — 1945 Soft XXL tote bag with Enfant Précoce Print

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