THE BALMAIN BLAZE

OCTOBER 2022

Balmain's superpower ? That of being a trail blazer.

Ever since its earliest days, Balmain has always been intent on boldly forging its own unique and exceptional way forward. It was Pierre Balmain who set the tone from day one, audaciously founding his own house in the uncertain days immediately following Paris' liberation, determined to introduce his fresh, feminine and game-changing vision of a "New French Style" to the world of couture. 

And over the past decade, Balmain's current creative director, Olivier Rousteing, has clearly fortified that special spearheading superpower that sets Balmain apart - opening his runways to thousands, partnering with music's biggest talents, connecting in a direct and authentic manner with house followers - while always making sure to leave wide and open each door that he's pushed through, for those who follow in his path.

Obviously, the name works on multiple levels, but beyond riffing on those many house inspirations, more than anything else, I wanted the Blaze to be a bag that was definitely going to be noticed. I told my design team that I imagined these bags as being key elements of the boldest possible of entrances. For me, these designs evoke the bullet-proof shields carried by the fearless superheroes of my youth - and I really love the idea of our Balmain Blaze adding an empowering sensation of invincibility as the perfect final touch for every ensemble.

- OLIVIER ROUSTEING

Channeling both the superpower of a heritage house and the protective armor of historic superheroes, the Balmain Blaze collection is made up of a variety of luxury leather shoulder bags and clutches that rely on strong juxtapositions of colors and textures. The energetic force of the designs is underlined by the collection's many couture-inspired embellishments and the abundance of very shiny, very visible hardware that help ensure Rousteing's goal of creating a uniquely powerful and eye-catching accessory.

BALMAIN CLOSES ITS ANNUAL FESTIVAL WITH THE ULTIMATE TRAILBLAZER: CHER

The Balmain Festival is this house’s annual celebration of the beautiful possibilities that might be achieved by combining the best in music and fashion. So, to close this year’s festival, we couldn’t possibly think of a better artist than Cher. After all, she’s been making it clear to everyone—ever since the ‘60s—just how powerful the perfect combo of those two arts can be. Cher’s history of successes, records, awards, activism and culturally defining moments is way too long to even think of listing here—but I do believe that it can easily be summed up in just one word: trailblazer.

Cher has been a daring pioneer, a true trailblazer, for over six decades, never slowing down, always pulling us along with her, as she courageously marches forward. She may have been crowned the “Goddess of Pop,” but she’s definitely shown us that she can rule every possible musical genre—from folk to stadium rock—while somehow managing to move us to tears in her dramatic roles and making us laugh like nobody else can when she opts for comedy. “Style icon” doesn’t come close to describing her achievement of defining more than a half-century’s worth of fashion’s trends. And, in this challenging age that compels us to fight for long-overdue changes, her impressive, long-term commitment to dedicated activism is an example to all.

Knowing all that, I knew that we had to have Cher on the runway with us today to close this year’s festival. In addition, as my team and I prepare to launch Balmain’s new Blaze collection of luxury leather bags —which, as the name makes clear, is directly inspired by the spirit of fearless trailblazers—we are so very pleased that Cher, the ultimate trailblazer, will help us to introduce that new collection to the public.

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