Pierre Balmain opens his fashion house in Paris in 1945, creating a signature “jolie madame” aesthetic that became synonymous with easy glamour and simple elegance. Current creative director Olivier Rousteing, appointed in 2011, has updated the house’s boldly feminine codes with a youthful and international perspective. His idea for a modern wardrobe takes in tailored blazers, skinny jeans, tailleurs and evening dresses, loungewear, graphic knits, heeled shoes and sneakers: a mix of streetwear and suiting that evokes a relaxed attitude of contemporary refinement.
Essentials including structured jackets, body-con dresses, miniskirts, and skinny biker jeans enhance Balmain’s strong silhouettes and rich embroidery with cutouts, sheer fabrics, and vibrant color schemes that capture the confident sensuality of 21st-century luxury.
After the Second World War, the French designer Pierre Balmain was considered one of the most influential in fashion at the time, making clothes for celebrities, such as Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. After his death in 1982, the fashion house passed into the hands of Erik Mortensen, described by Vogue as the "right arm" of Pierre Balmain.
Oscar de la Renta took the reins of the brand between 1993 and 2001. Under the direction of Pierre Balmain, of Mortensen, and de la Renta, the brand got recognizability for its classic and luxurious style.
A few collections ago, the fashion house was led by designer Christophe Decarnin, who gave the Balmain brand a more modern and a new cut.