Hannah Husain became the first-ever Pakistani to participate in Le Bal des Débutantes, recently in Paris.
Le Bal des Débutantes – also known simply as ‘le Bal’ – is a debutante ball and fashion event held annually in November in Paris, bringing together between 20 and 25 debutantes aged 16 to 22.
The event features some of the most notable modern royals and young socialites and philanthropists from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the U.S. together with their parents.
It is also the only débutante ball which is by invitation only and is held at Shangri-La Paris – the former residence of Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew.
Husain, who represented Pakistan at the event, is the great-great-granddaughter of Sir Fazle Husain, a barrister from Cambridge, an Education Minister and the founder of the Unionist party in India. Her great-grandfather also served as the Pakistani Ambassador to Beirut, Lebanon, according to Vogue.
She was escorted by her brother Harris at the event.
The ball was organized by Ophélie Renouard to raise funds for the cardiology research unit ARCFA of Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital (specializing in care for children with heart defects all over the world) and World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to vulnerable communities during global crisis, according to Vogue.
This year, six Asian women made their debuts included Advaitesha Birla – the great-great-granddaughter of GD Birla who founded the Aditya Birla Group. Skye Wong, who hails from the founders of the Bank of East Asia and Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong also made her debut.
The ball began as a social event in 1958, with the inaugural one held at the legendary Château de Versailles.
It halted for several decades in 1968 due to the worker uprising in France, until it was finally revived in 1992 by Renouard – as a fashion event by invitation.
From 1992 to 2012, it took place every year at the iconic Parisian hotel, Hôtel de Crillon and was often called the ‘Crillon Ball’.
Previous debutantes have included Tallulah and Scout Larue Willis Willis, daughters of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore as well as Ava Phillippe – daughter of Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe – who made her debut with Maharaja Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur.