French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura is the latest musical icon to join forces with Balenciaga. Together the pair have created a luxe, limited-edition merch line that pays tribute to her artistry, while delving into the singer’s many musical inspirations with an exclusive playlist curated by Nakamura herself.
Nakamura is an unstoppable force, and one of the most important French singers of the moment. Having garnered a huge following over the years with a seductive blend of pop-R&B that places defiant lyrical offerings at the fore – “Either you understand me or get lost,” translates one punch-packing verse from Bobo – Nakamura’s no-fuck’s-given spirit and playful tunes posit her as an ideal star in Balenciaga’s larger-than-life world.
Ever game for a parody – see the house’s take on tourist merchandise here – the ensuing collection has been created in the tradition of concert merch, boasting a blinged-out, hair-flipping Nakamura in a range of hoodies, tees and sweatshirts. Taking to the streets (and record shops) of Paris, Nakamura’s doting fans see themselves become the stars of this campaign, holding up handmade signs or attending album signings in their limited-edition wears, available in stores and online.
To commemorate their collaboration, Nakamura has also debuted an exclusive playlist with the French fashion house which is available to stream or download on Apple Music, where Balenciaga has been an Official Curator since 2020. Following in the footsteps of RuPaul and German metal band Rammstein, Nakamura’s selection features a slew of smash hits that have inspired and enthralled her, from drizzy Drake deep cuts to Shaybo’s gut-spilling 2021 tune, My Sister.