In 1945, the Pierre Balmain fashion design house earned its rightful place on the global fashion map for its graceful, richly embroidered designs. The son of a garment draper and a women's boutique owner, Balmain initially studied architecture, but forsake his studies to follow his parents' footsteps into the world of fashion.
After honing his skills within the fashion houses of Lucien Lelong and Molyneux during the 1930s, the famed designer redefined postwar women's fashions to include lavish, figure-flattering selections such as nipped waists and bell skirts. He was equally as famous for his exquisitely cut menswear collections.
Immediately upon opening his own storefront, Balmain released his first fragrance, Elysees 64-83. Two years later, in 1947, he debuted Vert Vert, a floral green women's fragrance that remains in production.
Balmain's couture designs for royalty, politicians and actresses were responsible for his fame from the 1940s through the 1960s. However, the ready-to-wear rage of the 1970s made him a global household name, when his signature fashions became more accessible to women all over the world.
After his death in 1982, control of the fashion design business transferred through the hands of designers Erik Mortensen and Oscar de la Renta before settling with creative director Olivier Rousteing in 2001.
As of 2014, Balmain's fashion house continues to thrive with his vintage fashions and new clothing, accessories and fragrance lines, offering 19 men's and women's scents.