Couture house established 1945 with sumptuous feminine styles which captured the imagination of war weary Parisian women. He had earlier apprenticeship and free lance work for Mlolyneux, Lelong, Lanvin and Piguet. His styles evolved into simpler sculptural creations by the 1960s. During his professional life he designed personal wardrobes for many well-known women ranging from Gertrude Stein to Marlene Dietrich and Quenn Sirikit of Thailand. On Balmain's death, his long-time assistant Erik Mortensen took over the design position until 1990, when he was succeeded by Herve-Pierre, and in 1993, by Oscar de la Renta. De la Renta left in 2002. He was followed by Christophe Lebourg until 2005, then by Christophe Decarnin, who was replaced in 2011 by Olivier Rousteing (previously with Roberto Cavalli).