Pierre Balmain founded Balmain in 1945, bringing a fresh design set to the typical utilitarianism of style at the time. His exuberant, hyper-feminine approach manifested in long full skirts and rich fabrics. Balmain’s romantic designs were immensely popular amongst the most famous of the day, such as Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner. Pierre Balmain died in 1982, though his fashion house has remained true to its roots and its founder.
Olivier Rousteing has been Creative Director of Balmain since 2011. He looks to past designs of the fashion house for inspiration, while creating a contemporary look centred around modern culture. In particular, Rousteing links his designs and creativity to music; the messages inspiring him and the artists often at the forefront of a campaign, for example Kanye West.
Balmain designs menswear, womenswear, bags, accessories and shoes. The brand’s reputable, innovative silhouettes remain strong in the brand today, with Rousteing reconstructing these shapes for the modern woman. Balmain designs typically employ monochromatic colour palettes and structured tailoring, often incorporating strong prints for a powerful end-product. The tough glamour of the designs are built on through the use of biker detailing, drawing on military inspiration, resulting in pieces which appear fierce, confident and modern. In the name of the Balmain Army, the brand has a long list of celebrities and socialites as fans, akin to the popularity of the brand amongst the most glamorous of personalities in the 50’s.
Balmain has over 15 stores across the world and their designs can be purchased through their website. Balmain can also be found online through Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, Harrods, and Farfetch.