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Celebrating the Artistry of Africa

Millennials often cite “The Lion King” as their favorite Disney movie. In response to this enduring love, Disney and Balmain have teamed up to release “The Lion King” collection. This line of ready-to-wear designs and accessories for both men and women is inspired by Africa’s artisanal traditions and celebrates emerging African talents. The collection is prominently featured in a short film shot in South Africa by Femi Oladigbolu, showcasing the designs against breathtaking natural scenery. The film follows a diverse group of African models, led by Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing.

The film made its debut during the July 5th “Lion King In Concert” event at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where it was accompanied by the Chineke! Orchestra. This collection marks the 30th anniversary of Disney’s “The Lion King” and coincides with the upcoming release of “Mufasa: The Lion King” in December. The global launch for the collection is set for July 8th.
Image: Joel Anderson

For the past thirteen years, Rousteing has directed Balmain, integrating the brand’s signature silhouettes and Parisian couture craftsmanship with his personal reflections and African heritage. This collaboration, the first between Disney and Balmain, puts a spotlight on African craftsmanship with significant contributions from young African artists such as South African painter Nika Mtwana, Cameroonian painter Enfant Precoce, and South African painter Cassius Khumalo.

Rousteing expressed his profound connection to the project, recalling how “The Lion King” significantly influenced him as a child. “Celebrating where we come from helps us see where we are headed,” he remarked, emphasizing the collection’s blend of tradition and innovation.
Image: Joel Anderson

The collection and film celebrate Africa’s rich cultural heritage, offering a powerful tribute to Disney’s timeless story and Rousteing’s personal journey. Moreover, the collaboration will be featured in a documentary special, “On The Red Carpet Storytellers Spotlight: Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ x Balmain,” set to premiere on Hulu and ABC platforms on July 10.

Source: Disney, Balmain