Balmain will return to the couture catwalk for the first time in 16 years in January. The brand's creative director, Olivier Rousteing, confirmed the news at WWD's Retail and & Apparel CEO Summit today.
The designer said that he is "looking to bring back the Parisian DNA", adding that accessories, fragrance and cosmetics are also in the pipeline. The label last showed couture in 2002 when Oscar de la Renta made his exit as creative director.
As WWD noted, a Balmain couture offering is likely to be a success given that 80 per cent of the brand's sales come from ready-to-wear. The label is best known for its opulence, femininity and embroidery - signatures that are expected to be amplified for couture and ready for his red carpet clientele.
Rousteing with Dudley O’Shaughnessy, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn
Since Rousteing was made creative director in 2011, aged just 25, he introduced the storied fashion house to a new, younger market. His loyal customer base, known as the 'Balmain Army', includes Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and Beyonce.
In 2015, he teamed up with H&M to create a high-street collection that sold out within hours. H&M's website crashed due to demand and some customers camped out overnight to make sure that they didn't miss out.