50 Pieces Stolen from Balmain's New Collection Ahead of Paris Fashion Week: A Recurring Trend in Couture
by Oana-Maria Moldovan
Just a few days prior to the highly anticipated Paris Fashion Week, a disheartening development unfolded within the realm of haute couture as the acclaimed creative director of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, made a somber announcement.
In a poignant social media post, Rousteing revealed that on a fateful Sunday, a distressing incident transpired: a staggering fifty pieces from the brand's eagerly awaited new collection had been brazenly pilfered.
The intricate details behind this audacious theft came to light as the designer unveiled his intentions to share the unfortunate narrative on his social media platforms.
Evidently, the audacious heist occurred during a harrowing encounter in which the delivery driver fell victim to an assault.
His cargo-laden delivery truck was forcibly seized, bearing the invaluable yet stolen high-fashion treasures destined for the Balmain headquarters nestled in the very heart of Paris.
In his emotionally charged Instagram post, Rousteing articulated a profound sense of sorrow and disappointment.
He stated that “This morning I woke up with the smile, starting the fittings for my next show at 9 am and this is what happened ... 50 Balmain pieces stolen. Our delivery was hijacked. The [truck] got stolen. Thank god, the driver is safe,”
The high end creative director ended his post by saying “This is the world we are living in”.
Despite fashion designers and brands typically taking extensive security measures to protect their collections, as these events are highly anticipated and valuable the newly Balmain incident is not a “new” thing.
Other haute couture brands had similar experiences in the last two decades. Starting with Dior Spring-Summer collection back in 2008 when thieves broke into Christian Dior's Paris headquarters and stole over €1 million worth of couture gowns.
In a very similar way to what happened to the Balmain collection, the Chanel's Resort Collection of 2015 was stolen completely from the truck that was transporting them to Seoul, South Korea.
Or, in more recent years we had a group of thieves who stole the entire Versace Fall/Winter 2019 collection in Milan. The collection was valued at around €2 million at that time.
While the Balmain incident may appear to be an uncommon event, the truth is that it is not without precedent. Unfortunately these types of things happen more often than we think in the high end fashion industry.
And, even more sad is the fact that they will happen again.
But, on a more positive note, the fashion show remains steadfast, neither canceled nor postponed, and is set to unfold as scheduled on September 27th, in close proximity to the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Rousteing said “So many people worked so hard to make this collection happen. We are redoing everything but this is so so disrespectful”.
We can only wait and see the new collection on the runway, after all, just like Rousteing stated, there was great work done for this collection, like for any other one.