For the first time in 16 years, Balmain is returning to couture. Creative Director Olivier Rousteing made the announcement this morning at WWD‘s Retail & Apparel CEO Summit. The first couture collection will reportedly be shown as early as January.
Oscar de la Renta was the last designer to create a couture line for the brand back in 2002. Rousteing, who’s been with Balmain since 2011, told WWD he wants to bring back the house’s “Parisian DNA.” The return to haute couture is an homage to the history of the brand, a unique step for the designer who typically looks to the future. For Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2018 campaign, for instance, Rousteing had three CGI models created to wear a digital version of the collection.
In an August interview with Numéro, Rousteing talked about blending his eye for craftmanship with innovation.
“The fashion world has gone from being very conservative to being obsessed with millennials and their desires,” he said. “But it’s not enough to design a pair of sneakers if you want to please them, the approach needs to be much deeper. While I’m a fan of digital technologies, I want Balmain to remain a traditional French luxury house. On my Instagram account, I’ll just as easily post a pair of jeans as an haute-couture dress.”
WWD reported that exploring accessories, fragrance and cosmetics are also on his wish list. 2018 has been a big year for Rousteing, who created two history-making wardrobes for Beyoncé’s Coachella set.
It looks like we’ll be able to see Balmain’s couture comeback during the Spring 2019 couture week, which will take place January 21-24.
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