Founded in 1945, Pierre Balmain’s ultra feminine and elegant style was embraced by Hollywood starlets like Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren. After the death of Balmain in 1982, Erik Mortensen, Balmain’s right hand man, led the fashion house. Two years later, Oscar de La Renta took the helm at Balmain and designed for the dwindling label from 1993 to 2001. The French house diminished into a financial crisis and soon faded into obscurity. The glory days at Balmain were beginning to become distant memories until the house was revived in 2005 with the appointment of Christophe Decarnin as creative director. Since Decarnin’s reign at Balmain, sales of the French house have doubled. Out were the elegant evening attire and in were the body skimming dresses, distressed denim and lavishly embellished jackets. Balmain is now notorious for their sky high pricing, with dresses retailing at $20,000.