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Balestra unveils debut ready-to-wear collection during MFW

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Balestra AW22

Storied Italian haute couture fashion house, Balestra unveiled its first ready-to-wear collection during Milan Fashion Week focused on the brand’s signature blue colour.

The Italian label Renato Balestra was founded in 1959 by the couturier, who became known for his signature painterly embroidery. In February, the label announced that it was rebranding to reposition itself for sustainable growth. This included a new creative leadership team, led by the founder’s daughters Fabiana and Federica Balestra, alongside his granddaughter Sofia Bertolli Balestra, who is steering research, design and brand identity.

The new-look Balestra is guided by the principles of freedom, innovation and inclusiveness to inspire a new generation with optimism and glamour, explained the brand. This includes a new name, with the brand now being referred to by the designer’s last name and a new logo that revisits the hand-drawn version by Renato Balestra in 1971.

Image: Balestra AW22

MFW AW22: Balestra repositions itself with a new brand identity

The new vision for the brand was unveiled during Milan Fashion Week with a collection entitled ‘Reload’ filled with contemporary timeless pieces designed “with optimism,” added the Italian label, in keeping with the values of the historical Maison.

“It is said that those who see the sun rise in a dream are about to begin a period of rebirth and change. It is a symbol of optimism and faith in the future,” said Sofia Bertolli Balestra, head of research, design and brand identity in a statement. “Dreams allow us to go beyond reality, to shape our future, to let ourselves believe in ambitious goals, and sometimes to see who we truly are.”

The debut ready-to-wear collection has been inspired by the brand’s haute couture, and draws inspiration from the house’s innovative codes, offering timeless, fluid creations for strong women who want to “live the night, and stay up until dawn,” added the brand.

“We started from our roots,” stated Sofia Bertolli Balestra. “We drew inspiration from Balestra’s legendary period between the late 1970s and the 1980s, referencing soft shapes, plunging necklines and oversized shoulders, allowing the body complete freedom. A beautiful dream that goes from day to night.”

Image: Balestra AW22

Fluid silk dresses adorned with crystal embroidery sit alongside sequinned trousers, crop tops and jumpsuits, which all highlight the brand’s couture history. While the new RB monogram, originally designed in 1971 by the founder, pays tribute to the house’s heritage. The monogram has been expanded into a large-scale print, with a neon effect created by overlapping graphics for a contemporary, modern update.

The highlight was the Balestra blue trouser suit, embellished with fabrics printed with artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s 18th-century etchings, which offers a bold look aimed at repositioning Balestra as a symbol of Made-in-Italy quality for the modern woman.

“Renato Balestra, like Piranesi, was captured by Rome and became its ambassador in the world. Quoting the city is our invitation to dream, to let feelings run through us, to imagine physical and ideal places,” added Sofia Bertolli Balestra.

Image: Balestra AW22
Milan Fashion Week