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In 2011, at the young age of 25, Olivier Rousteing became the Creative Director of Balmain's French fashion house, amassing a "Balmain Army" of supporters along the way; Beyoncé, Gigi, and Kim are a few. But backers of Rousteing and the brand are not just devotees of his power blazers, bold body con dresses, and second-skin leather pants. They're champions of Rousteing's representation and determination to fight for more inclusion in the fashion industry as the first Black Creative Director to stand at the helm of a French Fashion house.
While carefully referencing the house's storied fashion archive, Rousteing also set out to reinvent couture's historical exclusivity—his tailoring becomes sultry with open backs and short hemlines, while conservative fabrics like tweed turn edgy with hardware and neon color schemes. His modern interpretations don't stop at clothes. In 2017, Rousteing relaunched Balmain's accessories line with something for everyone: candy-colored clutches for his younger party-going fans and roomy quilted totes for his career-oriented demographic.
Rousteing fans will undoubtedly have a spot for the newest bag drop, too: a collection of 1945 soft bags, which are an ode to the brand's founder, Pierre Balmain, who established the French fashion house in 1945. The design is inspired by a vintage Balmain handbag adorned with a heritage logo "PB" print and hardware inspired by the famous plaque in front of Balmain's Paris flagship. Rousteing calls it a bold yet practical bag to wear every day.
The Balmain 1945 soft is available in synthetic leather, monogram velvet, monogram shearling, and pearl embroideries, in small and medium sizes.
Shop Balmain's 1945 Soft Bag:
Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to.
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