The luxury post-war fashion house of Balmain – a historic institution in the world of fashion – has opened its first store in South Africa last week. Meandering through the high-end fashion store – Mimosa in hand – I got to join fellow media representatives at the store’s launch.
It was more than 75 years ago that founder and visionary, Pierre Balmain first introduced what was soon described as “New French Style.” His fashion house became known for offering a distinctly fresh and feminine outset of haute couture. In fact, it broke away from many well-established conventions of the era, making it bold, brave and one of a kind. Pierre Balmain soon became one of a few young French fashion talents ushering the mid-century golden age of couture. Eventually, this helped to re-establish Paris as the world’s fashion capital.
Pierre Balmain initially studied architecture and described the art of dressmaking as “the architecture of movement.” With that came sophistication and elegance – perfectly illustrated in the flagship South African store’s design, layout and couture. The South African store has been beautifully designed and with its minimalist feel, the attention is immediately drawn to the impressive collection of luxurious women’s and men’s attire on display.
Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s creative director, has been building upon Pierre Balmain’s legacy with innovation and passion since 2011. The Balmain Army, as it stands today, continues with Rousteing at the steer. He has been staying true his own determination of designing clothes that reflect the way of this inclusive, powerful, global army. Now, the army is expanding into South Africa – an exciting addition for the fashion house.
The flagship South African Balmain Boutique is an ode to the recognisable Balmain silhouette, style and attitude. It highlights the singular craftsmanship of the fashion house’s celebrated ateliers, while continuously incorporating a rich, Parisian heritage.