After the rumours circulating these past months, it has finally been confirmed that French fashion house Balmain has been sold to Mayhoola, the investment fund supported by the Emir of Qatar.
Founded in 1945 by designer Pierre Balmain, the label has had some financial problems over the years. But thanks to former CEO Alain Hivelin, who passed away in 2014, and Olivier Rousteing, creative director since 2011, the brand became popular again, with many celebrity fans and friends like the Kardashians/Jenners, Rihanna and more, and the birth of the ‘Balmain Army‘.
According to The Guardian and the French financial newspaper Les Echos, the Qatari company, which also owns Italian label Valentino that recently reached its goal of $1 billion in sales, offered €485million (£372m) for Balmain, whose ownership is mainly held by Hivelin‘s heirs, while the management board holds around 30% of the brand.
In a statement to WWD, a Mayhoola representative explained what’s in store for the French luxury label: ‘In recent years, Balmain‘s trajectory has been more than impressive. Under the leadership of Emmanuel Diemoz (Balmain‘s chief executive officer) and creative direction of Olivier Rousteing, the historic house speaks to a new, younger and more savvy consumer, while never forgetting its heritage or the importance of true Parisian craftsmanship. The house’s remarkable growth and many accomplishments in recent years have reinforced the brand’s potential to become a true global luxury goods leader. By backing the current management and design team, we aim to ensure that Balmain achieves its full potential. We believe Balmain will contribute significantly to our ambition to build a global luxury goods powerhouse.’