Renato Balestra (born in Trieste, May 3, 1924), is an Italian fashion designer.
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 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 a collection for the haute couture fashion shows.It is fair to say that fashion chose Renato Balestra, rather than Renato Balestra choosing fashion. The move from Milan to Rome was rapid. 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 queens, First ladies, 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 had also been involved in television, taking part in Italian Saturday-evening T.V. programs. 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”), which took two prizes.
Renato Balestra also designed the uniforms for Philippine and for Alitalia Airlines. Throughout his career, Renato Balestra had 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 honor 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 “Cenerentola” for Belgrade’s Opera Theatre, and for Strauss’s “Cavaliere della Rosa” with the occasion of the lyric opening season of Teatro Verdi in Trieste.
His great passion is TV: he took part in a TV program for RAI 1 on Saturday night ”Rosa Chic”, and he is the guest star in “Chiambretti c’e”that is going on three nights a week on RAI 1.
Today, he sells everything from ties, scarves and jean, all the way to home décor items.