Pierre Balmain was born in St Jean de Maurienne, Savoie, in 1914. After the end of the war, in the autumn of 1945, having studied under the greatest couturiers of the time, Molyneux and Lucien Lelong, he opened his own Couture house and set up business in the Rue François 1er. His female clientele flocked to see him and were delighted to discover the new image of woman that he had created.

The American author Gertrude Stein, a great friend of Pierre Balmain, enthusiastically greeted the arrival of the "New French Style" in her writings. The image soon to emerge was that of an active, vivacious, immaculate and elegant woman with a hint of insouciance.