How does Olivier Rousteing succeed at Balmain?

How does Olivier Rousteing succeed at Balmain?

Olivier Rousteing is 28, black, and social media addict.As the creative director of Balmain, all this makes him something of a rarity: Racial diversity, youth, and flagrant -modernity are not characteristics commonly associated with venerable French fashion houses, much less with the designers at their helm. Yet Rousteing—who after three successful years on the job has made it clear that he is not a fashion footnote—is determined to change that. “My job is not just to design clothes but to also give a new vision to fashion,” he declares.

Olivier ROusteing, Creative Director of Balmain


As a certified millennial, Rousteing is also resolutely forward-thinking. That, coupled with the confidence that comes from the support of megastars like Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, who are frequently photographed in his clothes, has allowed him to chart a course for the house that is more inclusive of different cultures and ethnicities. For spring 2014 he cast Rihanna, whom he describes as “strong, sexy, at times androgynous—the new Madonna,” as the face of the brand. For fall, he presented a polished hip-hop/safari mash-up that opened with the black model Jourdan Dunn.

Balmain FW14 fashion show


He knew how to keep the Balmain heritage and do something really modern with it. Very expensive and high end fabrics, colorful fur, the Balmain woman is more sexy than ever, and feel powerfull in the clothes Rousteing is designing.


Martin Auroyer

Luxury marketing student

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