Balmain is returning to couture for the first time in 16 years

Balmain has announced plans to return to the couture calendar for the first time in 16 years. 

Speaking at the WWD Retail & Apparel CEO Summit, creative director Oliver Rousteing revealed that he is “looking to bring back the Parisian DNA” to the Balmain brand by delving into the world of haute couture. 

The last couture collection from the fashion house was produced in 2002 when Oscar de la Renta was at the creative helm.

By turning towards the highest end of the fashion spectrum, Rousteing plans to move the brand into a more bespoke direction and will begin to do so with his inaugural collection as a couturier at Paris Couture Week in January 2019.

The designer also revealed that he would like to delve into accessories, fragrances and cosmetics too.

The announcement is the latest attempt by Rousteing to expand and boost the brand’s profile.

Famed for creating the Balmain Army – a clique of internationally famous ‘It’ girls including Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner – the designer’s expansion plans are already underway, having already experimented with a number of more affordable brand collaborations. 

In 2015, the fashion house launched a collaboration with H&M which saw shoppers camp overnight outside stores and sold out almost instantly.

Last year, Balmain also made its first move into lingerie, designing a collection with Victoria’s Secret for its annual runway show. The collection, which was available to shop online immediately after the show aired on TV, sold out just 48 hours after its release. 

Similarly, in May 2017, Rousteing made his first foray into the world of cosmetics through a partnership with L’Oreal Paris. 

The designer launched a collection of 12 Balmain lipsticks that he had designed himself and were inspired by three things: couture, modernity and diversity. 

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