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Balmain teams up with artist Jeff Cole

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Balmain x Jeff Cole
Balmain has unveiled a collaboration with artist Jeff Cole to launch exclusive artwork for the Balmain Unicorn sneaker.

Cole, known for his use of digital tools to create colourful illustrations and dynamic animations, has transformed Olivier Rousteing’s latest sneaker design into a futuristic singular equine shape.

The animated Balmain Unicorn has a hypnotic, nonstop loop, featuring bright colours and bold patterns transforming into black-and-white, gold-and-white and multi-colour tonal mixes.

The Balmain Unicorn x Jeff Cole collaboration will be used within the fashion house’s upcoming social-media push to introduce the sneakers. Cole will premiere his designs during an exclusive event at Balmain's recently inaugurated Madison Avenue boutique during June's NFT.NYC conference, which will also highlight the minting of Jeff Cole’s Balmain Unicorn animation as an exclusive NFT.

Image: Balmain x Jeff Cole

Bids for this series of NFTs can be placed from June 21 to 24 exclusively on the mintnft.com marketplace. The winning bidder will also receive a special pair of Unicorn sneakers signed by Rousteing, an invitation for two to experience next September’s Balmain Festival, one NFT airdrop of the most recent Balmain Non-Fungible Thread NFT, and a technical sketch of the Unicorn sneaker signed by Safa Sahin, the head of the Balmain sneaker design team.

Commenting on the artwork, Rousteing said in a statement: “I couldn’t be more pleased with the final artwork. Jeff clearly understood the spirit of our new Unicorn has much more to do with the elusive beauty and rare strength of the legendary creature than with any literal interpretation of its shape.

“So, he avoided any expected clichés of hoofs and horns and instead channelled fantastic colours and compelling animations. I especially love how he was able to beautifully morph our Balmain Unicorn’s eye-catching lacing system and the upper's three parallel breaking waves into his creature’s facial features.”

Jeff Cole