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Born in Trieste, Renato Balestra comes from a family of architects and engineers and after a childhood steeped in the Mid-European cultural environment of the area, he too began studying for a degree in civil engineering. However, even from the earliest days of his youth, he dedicated his much of his time to artistic activities, including both painting and music, and devoted several hours a day to studying the piano. He is still a passionate connoisseur of both classical music and opera. It was not until the last year of his engineering studies, however, that he became involved in fashion, creating a design in response to a bet made among friends. Without his knowledge, the result was sent to Milan and, to his great surprise, he was invited to participate in the creation of an haute couture collection. It is fair to say that fashion chose Renato Balestra, rather than Renato Balestra choosing fashion. The move from Milan to Rome was rapid and although still undecided on exactly what path to take, Renato Balestra was convinced that his future lay in design. For a number of years, he designed for the theatre,the cinema and, naturally, the fashion world until the success of the first Renato Balestra label collections convinced him to choose the latter option. From Via Sistina, where the Balestra shop had its headquarters, he began his rise to international fame,developing and creating a variety of activities. Today, Renato Balestra designs and markets approximately thirty different ranges that include haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, a complete line of men’s wear and a wide range of accessories. His private clients include prestigious names from all over the world. Renato Balestra has designed clothes for the Empress Farah Diba, the Queen of Thailand, the first ladies of the Philippines and Egypt, Saudi Arabian Princesses and for leading celebrities of the international jet-set, not forgetting, of course, famous actresses. However Renato Balestra’s interests are not limited to fashion. Eclectic in his tastes, he has also been involved in television,taking part a in Italian Saturday-evening T.V. programm “Rosa Chic”,and is the guest star in “Chiambretti c’è” that is going on 3 nights a week on RAI 2. He has also entered the literary world, writing a book for the Rusconi Publishing House entitled: “Alla Ricerca dello Stile Perduto” (“In Search of the Lost Style”). A lover of the active life, he is especially fond of travel. He feels that the best way to learn about life is to discover countries, cultures and peoples from all over the world, becoming acquainted with their ways of life, their philosophies, their 3 customs and their religions. Throughout his career, Renato Balestra has been invited to present his Collections all over the world, with enormous international success. He has also been awarded prestigious prizes in recognition of his talent. When in Beijing, he had the great honour of being awarded the title of Honorary Professor of the Fashion Academy. Renato Balestra has designed the costumes for various theatre operas,and has recently created the costumes for Rossini’s Cinderella for Belgrade’s Opera Theatre, and the ones for Strauss’s “Cavaliere della Rosa” in occasion of the liric opening season of Teatro Verdi in Trieste.
In August 2008, Mr. Balestra designed the costumes for the cast of the famous Musical : “Cinderella”. It is a big collaboration with MB Productions. The costumes, designed by Renato Balestra, are acclaimed by the critics and audience. The same costumes were shown in December 2011with the new "Cinderella" Musical presented at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.
In February 2010, the City of Parma invites Renato Balestra to present his Haute Couture collection and a retrospective of his creations in the Teatro Regio. For the first time in its long and prestigious history, this world famous Opera House host a fashion event. The evening event is for a noble cause, to raise funds for disabled children in Haiti affected by the earthquake.
America Award of the Italy-USA Foundation in 2010.
In April 2011, Renato Balestra opened the exhibition "FASHION IS CULTURE " at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. The exhibition traces the milestones of his prestigious career through 150 drawings and sketches including some of its most important models of high fashion, Opera Theaters Costumes and uniforms for Alitalia, the Philippine Airlines, for Agip oils, for the Wagon lits and the Senate Ceremonial. The Haute Couture of Renato Balestra has also been involved in a Charity Gala at the Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore Hotel, in favor of “ City of Hope" a leading research, treatment and education center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases located in Duarte, California. Always on the side of the most important humanitarian initiatives, Renato Balestra has presented to Hollywood about 150 dresses from the "Vintage" collection to the recent Spring-Summer show, and some "scenes" were created specifically for the Unification of Italy 150 ° and a homage to the United States.
Some of the creations of Renato Balestra are today sold in America at the Neiman Marcus Store in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.