The Balmain Festival is this house’s annual celebration of the beautiful possibilities that might be achieved by combining the best in music and fashion. So, to close this year’s festival, we couldn’t possibly think of a better artist than Cher. After all, she’s been making it clear to everyone—ever since the ‘60s—just how powerful the perfect combo of those two arts can be.
Cher’s history of successes, records, awards, activism and culturally defining moments is way too long to even think of listing here—but I do believe that it can easily be summed up in just one word: trailblazer. Cher has been a daring pioneer, a true trailblazer, for over six decades, never slowing down, always pulling us along with her, as she courageously marches forward. She may have been crowned the “Goddess of Pop,” but she’s definitely shown us that she can rule every possible musical genre—from folk to stadium rock—while somehow managing to move us to tears in her dramatic roles and making us laugh like nobody else can when she opts for comedy. “Style icon” doesn’t come close to describing her achievement of defining more than a half-century’s worth of fashion’s trends. And, in this challenging age that compels us to fight for long-overdue changes, her impressive, long-term commitment to dedicated activism is an example to all.
Knowing all that, I knew that we had to have Cher on the runway with us today to close this year’s festival. In addition, as my team and I prepare to launch Balmain’s new Blaze collection of luxury leather bags —which, as the name makes clear, is directly inspired by the spirit of fearless trailblazers—we are so very pleased that Cher, the ultimate trailblazer, will help us to introduce that new collection to the public.