Last week, shoppers went crazy for Balmain in 250 H&M stores around the world. Fashion enthusiasts camped, clawed, jumped, and screamed to get their hands on pieces made popular by Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, and Gigi Hadid. The beaded dresses & jackets adorning top models, on red carpets this year, were the first to sell out online and in-stores. The entire collection sold out online before H&M stores even opened on the East Coast! H&M North America president, Daniel Kulle told WWD, “Balmain x H&M has truly exceeded our expectations.” WWD also reported that the lines to get into stores for this collab were longer than past designer collabs for H&M.
Shoppers camped out hours before H&M stores opened hoping to snag signature pieces. One early shopper, Morgan Jay, told WWD, “I’m going to fight for the embroidered men’s jacket. That’s the main one that I want, and anything else that I can get is just a bonus.”
Although the storied French fashion house has gained recent notoriety within a new generation, Balmain first opened its doors during the “New Look” era (1947). Overshadowed by Christian Dior’s revolutionary styling of the modern woman, Pierre Balmain did not reach the same level of stardom as Dior did in Europe. However, Balmain’s romantic gowns were a hit in America. Balmain is noted for dressing stars & style icons Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren.
Besides dressing celebrities of his time, Balmain was best known for his conservative styles for the everyday conservative woman. It’s no surprise current creative director Olivier Rousteing desires to modernize the iconic brand with his #HMBALMAINATION and supermodel army.
Rousteing’s flashy, elaborate designs may show more skin than Balmain’s original designs showed, but inspiration is evident. Check out classic Balmain, red carpet looks, & vintage Pierre Balmain designs below.
I do not own the above logos, red carpet, movie premiere, ads, editorial, or runway images.
For more information about the vintage Pierre Balmain dresses please visit the Victoria & Albert Museum website.