Shoulda Seen This Coming: Kim & Kanye Are The New Faces Of Balmain


Zdjęcie zamieszczone przez użytkownika Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian)

Kim Kardashian's quest for (fashion) world domination continues apace. The erstwhile Vogue cover model and Paris Fashion Week fixture took to Instagram to unveil her first high-fashion campaign (co-starring Kanye) — for historic French house Balmain's menswear line.
The ad features a close-up of the couple about to kiss in what looks like a swank limo. They both look beautiful, and the image has a sort of swoony, sexy glamour that has become Balmain's M.O. since the young Olivier Rousteing took over the brand in 2011. Still, we can't help but feel a little...disappointed. Not because Kim Kardashian is starring in a fashion ad (really, we're surprised it has taken so long!), but because the result is just a little too predictable. Cliché, even.
Photo: Courtesy of Balmain.
Compare this ad to, say, Marc Jacobs's truly surreal 2008 campaign starring Victoria Beckham popping out of shopping bags wearing wacky hats. Jacobs plucked the ex-Spice Girl long before she was considered a bona fide designer, and the casting shocked the fashion guard — a paparazzi fixture starring in a Marc Jacobs campaign? Quelle horreur! But, the images also brilliantly subverted Beckham's stone-faced, pop-star image at the time, which really made them feel surprising, new, and like a work of art.
How about when Miuccia Prada recruited troubled celeb Lindsay Lohan for Miu Miu in 2007? While the ads didn't necessarily de-glamorize Lohan, they did dress her up as a sort of quirky fashion doll, which, knowing Prada's intellectual tendencies, was likely a message about the way the public manipulates the young women it idolizes and then casts aside.
Even recent Balmain campaigns took on a more editorial spin, like this one for spring 2015 which showed supermodels feasting on fast food, and was conspicuously missing Rousteing buddy Kendall Jenner.
So, the latest Balmain ad feels a bit late. Kim and Kanye have become — at least for now — fashion royalty. They sit front row at Paris Fashion Week, are BFFs with Rousteing and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci (who is baby North's "fairy godfather"), and have landed a Vogue cover. Their presence in an ad alone isn't enough to really make an impact. It would have, if the ad starred Kim Kardashian in a role other than Kanye's Wife (especially if it still managed to not be about her butt). As for which designer could craft such an ad: Marc Jacobs, are you listening?

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