Olivier Rousteing on Balmain’s new collaboration with Trudon
Olivier Rousteing on Balmain’s new candle collaboration with Trudon
Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, tells us about his scented collaboration with the historic French candle manufacturer Trudon
“A new French style”, is how Alice B Toklas, a member of the Parisian avant-garde, described Balmain when the first collection was launched in 1945. Seventy-five years later, its current artistic director, Olivier Rousteing, perpetuates the tradition of innovation. Perhaps fashion’s most impressive Wunderkind – he took over the brand’s helm aged just 25 – Rousteing has revitalized the brand by translating traditional tailoring techniques into a contemporary vernacular.
Olivier Rousteing on a very French vision
So it seems only natural that Rousteing should collaborate with candle maker Trudon, a company known for its “trust in archives, craftsmanship and legacies as key ingredients in creating offerings that are very current”, as he puts it. said.
“Centuries ago, Trudon focused on meeting the needs of the mighty French monarchy and church – but now, with its inventive fragrances and beautifully presented candles, the company is inventively leaning on its wealth of knowledge and experience to surprise with new breakthroughs and redesigned offerings that fit perfectly into a modern 21st century ambience,” adds Rousteing.
The new Balmain-Trudon candle
The first Balmain-Trudon candle was released last year, but this limited edition includes a new container and fragrance, derived from Trudon’s ever-popular “Ernesto” candle. The “Ernesto” is very familiar to Rousteing, who often burns the luxury candles in his home, his studio and even the Balmain flagship.
For him, “there is something a little spiritual in a candle. I like the little bit of ceremony that consists of arranging it, lighting it and letting its soft light give a new warmth to a space. Somehow it relaxes me and helps me feel more creative while I’m working. I suppose that sentiment shouldn’t be so surprising, knowing that Trudon began, centuries ago, creating candles for French cathedrals.
Rousteing worked with the nose behind the “Ernesto” candle, Emilie Bouge, to create a slightly more delicate floral edition of this classic fragrance. The original “Ernesto” is inspired by a hotel in Havana during the Cuban Revolution and features a steamy mix of tobacco, cedar and gunpowder.
“If Ernesto was embodied, he would be a Cuban rebel like Che Guevara, smoking his cigar with his sleeves rolled up,” explains Julien Pruvost, creative director at Trudon. ‘The Balmain version is a feminine version [incarnation] of this perfume. She wouldn’t smell of tobacco and leather, but she would be impregnated with them because she rubs shoulders with these men. She’s part rebellion but carries a deep sensual kind of dark floral notes, like a black rose.
The candle’s striped, red and gold container is a visual complement to Balmain’s fashion collections. As with all Trudon candles, the glass vessel has been handcrafted in Tuscany and filled with a unique wax formulation perfected over its more than 300 year history. Rousteing says: “The bold stripes on the glass vessel reference one of Balmain’s icons: the house’s modern, luxurious take on the traditional Norman. sailor sweater. We’ve played with new versions of the marinière on nearly every Balmain Paris Fashion Week show for the past decade. The gold coloring, meanwhile, is “a tribute to Balmain’s couture origins.”
Keeping a historical brand relevant
Ultimately, the new Balmain-Trudon candle is a compelling study in how historic brands innovate and collaborate to stay relevant to modern audiences. Asked about it, Rousteing said: “Balmain is built on an incredible heritage. And, of course, each of our collections builds on this history, drawing inspiration from our rich archives and relying on skilled craftsmen, whose craftsmanship is based on centuries of refinement and apprenticeship in fashion. Parisian. But, at the same time, this house couldn’t be more of today. It’s because Balmain has always been inspired by the power of popular culture, and the energy and beauty that surrounds us on the avenues and boulevards of Paris.
This constant celebration of new thoughts and new voices is what ensures that the historic house continues to offer a truly modern and compelling outlook. §