The rumors have been circulating for a while, and today the purchase of Balmain by Qatar-based, investment firm Mayhoola has been confirmed. For an estimated cost of $548 million, the purchase of the French luxury label is layered on top of the firm acquiring French label Valentino in 2011. No doubt the move was fueled in part by Balmain’s growth under the leadership of young design stud, Olivier Rousteing, who many view as raising the brand’s profile globally through his affinity with social media and the assembly of a #BalmainArmy, a collection of high profile models and celebrities who are often spotted in the label’s signature lavish designs.
Known for its secrecy, according to the Financial Times, Mayhoola, which means “unknown” in the Qatari dialect of Arabic, is thought to be an enterprise led by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser as-Missned, the mother of the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim. In the same article an unnamed source said Mayhoola plans to place the Valentino and Balmain under the same umbrella with the goal of taking the newly-formed company public.