Balmain

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Label Overview

Olivier Rousteing, 2011 - Present; Christophe Decarnin, 2002 - 2011; Laurent Mercier, 2002 - 2003; Oscar de la Renta, 1993 - 2002; Herve Pierre, 1990 - 1992; Erik Mortensen, 1982 - 1990; Pierre Balmain, 1945 - 1982

When French couturier Pierre Balmain founded his house in 1945, he, Christian Dior, and Cristóbal Balenciaga were the design giants responsible for reenergizing lavish couture dressing after World War II. Balmain’s elegant, super-feminine looks were favorites among European royalty and Hollywood fashion plates like Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren. Since Balmain’s death in 1982, the glory days have dwindled. His assistant, Erik Mortensen, took over until 1990, and two years later, Oscar de la Renta joined the house. De la Renta designed Balmain couture from 1993 to 2002, and Laurent Mercier took over in 2003. But the house soon fell into financial hard times and was forced to file for bankruptcy. Investors revived Balmain in 2005, and brought on designer Christophe Decarnin, fresh from a decade's work at Paco Rabanne. And for a label that was once known for ultraelegant evening attire with a draping and pleating focus, Decarnin's appointment took it toward tough-chic, thigh-grazing, body-skimming looks — a sensibility that embraces the quintessential trendsetting French party girl. In 2011, Olivier Rousteing was named the new creative director of Balmain.

Designed By
Olivier Rousteing, 2011 - Present; Christophe Decarnin, 2002 - 2011; Laurent Mercier, 2002 - 2003; Oscar de la Renta, 1993 - 2002; Herve Pierre, 1990 - 1992; Erik Mortensen, 1982 - 1990; Pierre Balmain, 1945 - 1982
Owned By
Alain Hivelin
Websites
http://www.balmain.com/

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