Who Run the World? A Balmain x Beyoncé Capsule Collection Is Created to Benefit Black Colleges

Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Photo: Larry Busacca (Getty Images for Coachella)

Breaking Bey News: Memorably, Beyoncé broke the festival format wide open this year at Coachella Beychella, when she performed two epic 24-song sets backed by a college marching band and wearing an all-Balmain wardrobe, personally designed by creative director Olivier Rousteing.


But that epic collaboration also birthed an ingenious idea, as reported by Vogue:

It happened in a rehearsal, while Beyoncé and her dancers were practicing in their Balmain-made looks inspired by the marching band uniforms of America’s historically black colleges and universities. “When she saw all the dancers loving the outfit—and she was loving her own outfit—she realized that what we were creating on stage for her, for all the dancers, was something really impactful,” says Rousteing. It clicked: Why not make a Beyoncé x Balmain collaboration that could make those poignant graphics available to all of Bey’s fans clamoring for a piece of history?


This Friday, July 13, fans can do just that, as Balmain launches a three-piece Balmain x Beyoncé collection at its Paris flagship, featuring the now-iconic bedazzled yellow and pink sweatshirts Beyoncé wore on stage at Coachella, plus a black t-shirt which also features the graphic. And as of Saturday, the capsule collection will be sold on Balmain and Beyoncé’s websites (consider the internet preemptively broken).


But most important? Following up on Beyoncé’s $100,000 donation to four HBCUs during Coachella and her partnership with Google to create scholarships at an additional four, proceeds from Balmain x Beyoncé will benefit the United Negro College Fund. “The donation was the main goal of this collaboration,” Rousteing tells Vogue, adding:

We don’t forget where we come from. This is really, really important—I come from an orphanage, you know. I think there is something really emotional about our collaboration. ... Sometimes, you create a moment, and it’s just one moment. With the clothes that we are creating now, it’s going to be a moment that keeps going and going and going. ... Everybody is always telling me about millennials or about the future—this is the future. This is making sure that these iconic moments talk to the young people. This is something important and this collaboration is talking to the new generation and saying you can get that piece, you can be a part of the history.


Rousteing tells Vogue that Beyoncé is a “perfectionist” who is “about feminism [and] empowering women.” He considers this latest collaboration a sharing of a vision for the world. “It’s a strong message,” he says. “[A]nd I’m really proud to be a part of that.” He continues:

This to me feels really emotional because, as you know, I’m of mixed race. I’m black and my parents are white. I grew up in France without having a real identification of being black and being an adult. I couldn’t see myself in the future, in a way, because there were not so many people in the ’80s or early ’90s that could show me a direction,” he says. “For me, working with Beyoncé, it’s more than only music. It’s about history, working with a woman that’s going to be part of the history and has made her own revolution, not only in music, not only in fashion. She is an icon to an entire generation and so many more generations can follow the steps of Beyoncé and say, “You give us hope, you make us dream.”


The Glow Up tip: Philanthropy like this isn’t cheap, and neither is Balmain; Beyoncé x Balmain tees will retail for $290 and sweatshirts, $550–$1,790 ... but it’s for a great cause.

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Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.