How did you come up with this concept? Why do you think the brands involved are a good fit?
Jim Fynes: I actually worked in the hotel industry for over a decade in Boston, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. Hotels are at the intersection of culture, from music, to fashion, to memories. Balmain and Sofitel Hotels are two iconic French brands, and we felt their existing partnership was a great opportunity to showcase this amazing graphic anthology across the world, as the intention behind the project was truly to celebrate a decade of greatness from Olivier Rousteing. Fashion knows no boundaries, and we felt this super cool creation needed to be showcased from London, to Dubai, to Singapore, to Seoul.
Michail Papadogkonas: Joshua at Z2’s enthusiasm and his way of seeing things reminded me of how we at Balmain like to see things - he’s not afraid of the impossible and the difficult, he just goes for it. Additionally, Z2 has a close connection to music; we’ve collaborated with many of the artists they’ve worked with in the past too, such as Gorillaz.
There was no better partner than Sofitel to explore the travel angle of the concept – they brought Parisian savoir-faire and a modern view of Paris to the international stage.
Marie-Paule Nowlis: Balmain was a very traditional luxury fashion house before Olivier Rousteing brought his contemporary energy and ‘lifestyle’ touch to the brand. Without his influence, I’m not sure I would have jumped on the collaboration. Sofitel is also a classic brand but one with that renowned French je ne sais quoi. I believe that we have Z2 to thank for laying the foundation; without Jim's extraordinary effort, this collaboration would not exist. It was a stroke of luck that Jim comes from a luxury hospitality background; he knows exactly what creating a partnership means in a luxury hotel.