The just-dropped Balmain x H&M is your 90s dream come true

Channelling a 90s music video vibes, the collaboration’s campaign film features a dance battle aboard a futuristic subway

With the launch of the Balmain x H&M just days away, the Swedish retailer has released the collection’s campaign film. Starring Kendall Jenner, the film bears striking resemblance to a 90s music video, featuring various sets of twins competing in dance-off aboard a futuristic subway. 

While to concept has already drawn comparisons to Prince’s 1991 album “Diamonds and Pearls”, which also starred a set of dancing twins, the choreography has been likened to that in Michael Jackson’s music video for “Bad”.

Reference to the 90s have been seen throughout this designer collaboration – the show, which took place in New York last week, featured a surprise appearance from 90s boy band Backstreet Boys. Nick, Kevin, Brian, A.J., and Howie to performed some of their greatest hits including “Everybody”, “Larger than Life” and “I Want it That Way”.

But this is more than a case of 90s nostalgia, it’s a campaign designed for the pop-loving masses that shop at H&M. Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing is an expert in wielding the power of pop culture to communicate to a large audience – from enlisting famous faces to star in his campaigns, to using social media to share his vision.

Kendall Jenner’s cultural clout and social media reach aside, music videos are a powerful medium within contemporary visual culture – what better way to reach the H&M customer?

The collection itself bears all the marks of Rousteing’s Balmain: complete with harem pants, embroidered blazers, tailoring adorned with gold buttons, along with blazers and blouses fitted with padded shoulders.