Olivier Rousteing has helmed the quintessentially Parisian couturier that is Balmain since 2011, breaking ground in international markets where the fashion house has never landed before. As one of the youngest designers to lead the historic atelier, Rousteing has continued to carry out Pierre Balmain’s original vision of wardrobing the strong liberated woman by balancing principles of modern luxury with the brand’s French couture roots. Established in 1945, the house has through its history enlisted the creative direction of some of fashion’s most keen eyes for detail and couture virtuosos including Herve Pierre, Oscar de la Renta, and Christophe Decarnin—a mentor to Rousteing—all of who upheld Balmain’s original “Jolie Madame” aesthetic inspired by resilience and poise.
Under Rousteing’s direction, decorative opulence and statement silhouettes reign as supreme elements more than ever. To describe the women he dresses: “Some people call it flamboyant, but a woman who is going to wear Balmain is a warrior…when you wear Balmain you adopt a vision and a strength, you're not just going to wear clothes for the clothes.”
Channeling Balmain’s signature intricate embroidery and rich embellishment, iconic tailored blazers, hugging bodycon dresses, and skinny biker jeans are all mainstays in womenswear collections. Strong shoulders reminiscent of Decarnin’s “Balmania” influence are updated by attaching to pieces with accentuated feminine forms that recall Pierre Balmain’s nipped waistlines. Menswear collections conjure an elevated interpretation of streetwear and loungewear demonstrated with leather jackets, destroyed jeans, and luxe sweatshirts, resonating with the particularly styled yet casual male who embraces a bold print.
Not one to shy away from pop-culture associations amongst the high fashion elite, Rousteing’s Balmain Army recruits include some of the biggest international influencers from all iterations of fame, and crosses over refined French couture with diverse influences from around the world which are evident in the designs he presents.

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