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“While this 15-minute presentation is designed to create strong impressions and reactions, it’s during the upcoming six months when the designs will make their mark. Social media’s embrace of Balmain will provide us with daily reminders of the excitement of those who have found a new way to bypass traditional gatekeepers.” This was stated on the Balmain Spring 2016 ready-to-wear show notes by Olivier Rousteing, social media sensation and the house’s designer, as a zing to all the critics sitting in the Hotel Intercontinental. After signing the upcoming H&M collaboration, the lover of strong silhouettes, reminiscent of Grace Jones, will finally be able to offer his hordes of fans clothes they can actually afford.

Founder: Pierre Balmain

Owner: Private

Designer: Olivier Rousteing, 2011

Year Established: 1946

Spring 2016 Inspiration: Sexy, powerful women.

Star Pieces: All the suede pieces, including a green Saharienne mini dress worn by Joan Smalls.

The Middle Eastern Sale: Glamour sells in the Middle East and Balmain oozes sex appeal every step of the way. The body-hugging numbers and heavily embellished pieces are bound to do well.

Drawback: The Balmain muse is fierce, but she can also easily look too retro with those ‘90s and ‘80s shapes.

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