Once called among the great Christian Dior and Jacques Fath as the Big Three of Paris fashion icons and identity Pierre Balmain has made an mark upon the designer apparel world few can call their own or even compare to. After World War II it was his group of designers that led the French to their fashion renaissance working under master couturier Lucien Lelong at his couture house with Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy.
Number 44 Rue Francois 1ER is where Pierre founded his own couture house. Initially it was an aristocratic townhouse and most would assume unusable for a fashion house. His original 24 team had 16 seamstresses sharing 15 stools (the unlucky last had to work on an umbrella perch. Slowly but surely the place turned into one that fitted the image of one of the leading maison de couture.
"Jolie Madame" was Balmain's calling for (and offered) French women an escape from the relaxed and utilitarian looks connected to wartime hardships contrasted to the new boldly feminine and opulent offering; rapidly a look that European and Hollywood royalty desired his name spread throughout with their help.