Balmain’s Unicorn is the latest silhouette to join the house’s experimental array of sneakers. With sculptural flair and a unique construction, the new, dynamic sneaker is an example of creative director Olivier Rousteing’s “Renewed French Style”, that seeks to challenge today’s typical sneaker design.
Tapping into the futuristic aesthetic of Blade Runner as well as inspiration drawn from Don Aronow’s aerodynamic speed boats, the conceptual sneaker combines layers of angled shapes to create a stacked yet streamlined silhouette.
Using the house’s innovative tech, the curved sole is crafted from eight sectional molds that come together to encase the brand’s shock absorber cushioning system. Across the body of the Unicorn the tiered look is continued with loop-shaped panels of matte rubber which are placed on top of the sneaker inner. As seen on a number of Balmain campaigns, these panels are playfully variegated with iterations in black, beige and electric tones.
The sneaker’s individual elements are tied together with three PPU bands attached to thin laces that wrap around the outer of the sneaker and under the split-sole cavity. Keeping the focus of the design on the structural make-up, the house keeps adornments minimal with branding incorporated across the midsole and a single Balmain lion head symbol on the the tip of the eyestay.
The Unicorn is available to buy now on the Balmain website, with prices starting at $1,195 USD.