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The Story of Balmain: From Ready-to-Wear to bedsheets

The Story of Balmain: From Ready-to-Wear to bedsheets

Simple beginnings


The founder of this haute couture house is Pierre Balmain. He was born in 1914 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, a small village in Savoie. He grew up in a family present in the fashion sector, because his father, who died when Pierre was 7 years old, was a drapery wholesaler and his mother and aunt worked in a small fashion boutique. However, when he reached the age to study, Balmain turned to architecture and entered the School of Fine Arts. However, this choice towards architecture will not last long, since instead of starting to design houses, he simply begins to design dresses and therefore returns to his family origins. He therefore chose to stop his studies to start working in fashion and returned to Edward Molyneux, a British fashion designer who notably dressed many European royal families and remained there until the 1930s.


An amazing success story


Between 1939 and 1941, Pierre Balmain was mobilised to fight during the Second World War. Finally, he returned to Lucien Lelong and he notably worked for Christian Dior. At the time, when he worked at Lucien Lelong, he created a crepe dress called "Petit Profil" that he did not want to market. She knows, however, since it sells more than 300 copies. Pierre Balmain eventually opened his own fashion house in 1945 with the help of his mother and other Balenciaga seamstresses. He then presents his first collection which will follow the lines of women's bodies. He uses particularly sober and dark tones, which will become his trademark. Her first collection reflects the "New Look", a style inaugurated by Christian Dior whose principle was femininity and the fact of following the lines of the woman's body. This style contrasts with the pre-war practice promoted by Gabrielle Chanel. The woman in the image of Balmain was elegant, active and a little casual. He attaches great importance to the structure of his outfits, in particular with well-defined shoulders, an underlined chest and a very narrow waist. Like several great couturiers, Balmain diversified and notably launched into perfumery. He launched a perfume in 1946 which he named “Elysées 64-83” and which was the telephone number of the couture salon. Then in 1947, he launched “Vent Vert”, followed in 1949 by the perfume “Jolie Madame”. This last perfume was so successful that he named his 1952 collection “Jolie Madame”. He tries his hand at ready-to-wear with a first range called “Pierre Balmain anthology” where we really feel his style then considered “the new French style”. This is characterised by a constant search for modernity and rigour. In 1953, Karl Lagerfeld joined the Balmain house and in 1955, he won the International Wool Secretariat competition alongside Yves Saint Laurent. Karl Lagerfeld continued to design for Balmain until 1962.


Recognising the American Dream


Pierre Balmain was one of the first designers to recognise the potential of the American market. He opened his first boutique in New York in 1949. But it was not until the 1950s that the house found the prestige there that we know today. This is massively due to a strategy of invading (or taking over) the American market with tight-fitting suits and strapless dresses with puffy skirts. Many movie stars began to wear his creations on screen and at social events.


In 1968, he designed the costumes for the Olympic Games and the uniforms of the Singapore Airlines flight attendants.


Sadly he will pass away 1982 and his death would be a real blow for the house, which would experience a dark period following this tragic event. However, today the brand has a found a new start since the young and creative designer Olivier de Rousteing has joined Balmain.


Nowadays, you can adorn your bedroom with Balmain bedsheets in Singapore. Balmain bedsheets can only be found in South East Asia as it is exclusive to the region. You will find a wide range of Balmain bedsheets, weaved in the highest quality of cotton.

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