One thing was clear for the young king of France’s venerable house of Balmain on a quiet July morning — and it wasn’t just the sky on a sunny day in Los Angeles.

“If there’s one city I would move for, it would be L.A.,” said Olivier Rousteing, the 31-year-old creative director of the fashion label founded in 1946 by its namesake, Pierre Balmain.

The designer may not be moving to Los Angeles anytime soon, but with the opening of Balmain’s new West Coast flagship store on Melrose Place — it’s only the second U.S. standalone store after New York — he’ll have a good reason to return often to California.

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