Renato Balestra was born in Italy around 1928-1930. He came from a sophisticated family of architects and engineers. He took painting and music lessons, and was intending an engineering career. However, as a hobby, he designed dresses and in 1950 one of his friends secretly sent some of his sketches to a designer in Milan. They proved to be interesting and he was invited to join a salon, so he moved to Milan. He spent some time designing for the theatre and films.
Giovanni Battista Giorgini, from Florence, was employed by American department stores to select and purchase Italian-made garments. He organized fashion shows to show the creations of Italian couturiers (many of whom were aristocrats). In 1951 the important American buyers came to Florence and saw the work of Fabiani, Schuberth, Fontana sisters and others.
This is one of the reasons that Italian fashion became so popular with Hollywood celebrities and other socialites after World War II.
The show was such a success that another show was organized in 1952. Designers like Mila Schon, Forquet, Lancetti and others showed their designs. Renato Balestra presented his first designs at this show, to great admiration. It was the start of his fashion career.
Today the atelier of Renato Balestra on Via Sistina in Rome, has some 30 different collections from ready-to-wear, perfumes, menswear, furniture to accessories. The clientele include many of the world's most well-known ladies such as Farah Diba, wife of Shah of Iran, the Queen of Thailand, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Lauren Hutton, and many more.
Renato Balestra himself is a man who is not only interested in the fashion world. He takes part in television programmes and loves open air life, sports and gardening. He has a country house outside Rome, where he escapes whenever he can. He also enjoys traveling to see different countries and cultures.
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