Balmain is a luxury fashion brand named after its French founder, Pierre Balmain. Pierre Balmain is thought to be a genius who saw the potential in the American Market way before other designers and design houses saw it. Although founded in 1945, the fashion brand continues to dominate the market through a series of vision changes, rolling with what is popular at the time while retaining the brand’s identity and utilizing the power of strong public personalities to keep the brand moving forward. Here is a brief look at the Balmain brand.
Balmain was founded at a time when most fashion houses in France were focused on the French and European Markets. Its founder, Pierre Balmain, worked for various fashion houses before finally deciding to start his own fashion line. Because he was mainly focused on the American market, a lot of players in the French fashion scene did not see Balmain as a competitor in the French fashion world.
Even though the brand was overlooked in its home country, the brand has thrived due to Balmain’s smart business acumen as well as the brand’s designs. Instead of being tied and held down by the pretentious French designs of the day and focusing on French designs as other designers did, Balmain was free to explore new designs that were in tune with the visions of the people at the helm of the company.
Balmain was focused on designs with impeccable construction as well as strong hints of luxury and lavish living. This emphasis on elegance and great construction can still be seen in the designs of the brand’s latest wear for men and women.
One of the standout pieces from early Balmain collections was the brand’s classic blazer. The blazer is still on sale today, with many of the elements from the first designs still evident in the item today.
The Entrance of Olivier Rousteing
The Balmain brand has had its ups and downs over the years, with the brand’s vision changing several times depending on who was at the helm. The brand was held back due to the perception that it catered to older designs and so a new direction was needed to turn the brand into a desirable one for modern men and women.
Olivier Rousteing was hired in 2011 as the brand’s head designer. His vision was to make the brand more appealing to modern men and women. To achieve this, he combined modern outlandish patterns and designs with the silhouettes of older designs. Although a lot of people were worried what the entrance of such a young designer would do to the brand, his first line released in 2012 drew a lot of praise due to its combination of modern elements with the elements that make the brand what it is.
Olivier has also led the company into getting into streetwear and focusing more on men’s fashion items. Now, the Balmain brand focuses on items like men’s jackets, cargo pants, hoodies, and more. The men’s line of high-end fashion items has been so well received that it is now sold by high-end fashion retailers like SSENSE. SSENSE is a high-end fashion retailer selling fashion items, decor, and accessories from brands like Gucci, Reebok, and Nike. They sell both men’s and women’s wear so you can find everything you need here including sneakers, fashion shoes, handbags, sunglasses and more.
Modernizing the Brand
The modern Balmain brand can trace its success to its social media presence and reach. The brand has been able to leverage the star power of some of the biggest names in entertainment and fashion using the #balmainarmy to bring more attention to the brand. This strategy is working very well as Balmain became the first French fashion designer to reach 1 million followers on Instagram. The brand has also worked with icons such as the Kardashians, Kanye West, and Beyoncé.
This social media strategy is specifically tailored to reach millennials which is a diversion from the company’s focus on older clients. While trying to do this, the brand has also been able to reenergize the fashion sector that focuses on younger people while bringing a lot of attention to the brand from traditional media and other fashion houses.
In addition to the modern line of men’s wear discussed above, the brand is still the go-to for tailored women’s blazers, mini dresses, and pencil skirts. The brand is also introducing some colorful and fun clothing items to its line to sit alongside its monochrome fashion items.
The history of the Balmain brand is an interesting one. The vision of everyone who has worked as its head of fashion has been reflected in each of the brand’s eras. We now see the brand dominating the high-end fashion industry through its social media strategy and collaborations with powerhouses in the entertainment and high-end fashion worlds.
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