Fashion Shows Still Lack Diversity, Says Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing

Exclusive: Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing speaks to Marie Claire Runway

Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing is calling out the fashion industry for its lack of diversity and says that the world needs more modern muses like Kim Kardashian-West and Rihanna.

Instagram’s favourite designer always throws one of the most colourful shows on the fashion month schedule (in all senses of the word) – something that he says he is proud of, but at the same time shouldn’t be celebrating, because of course diversity should be the norm.

‘Unfortunately, a lot of designers cast blonde skinny girls who have no name, because they don’t want a personality to detract from their clothes,’ Olivier tells the new issue of Marie Claire Runway. 

‘They think cold is modern. For me, modern is having strong powerful girls who have something to say.’


Olivier’s supermodel BFFs include everyone from Kendall Jenner to Joan Smalls, Adriana Lima to Binx Walton –a clique of mega-personalities who he can guarantee will always look amazing in his fiercely embellished, hyper-womanly designs.

One of the designer’s best friends (and top fans) is Kim Kardashian-West, and, with her ultimate hourglass figure, Olivier says she is one of his favourite people to dress.

‘Kim’s body shape is so interesting to dress, she represents another reality. People complain that fashion is talking to just anorexic girls, but now we have these sexy, strong businesswomen.’

‘Rihanna, too, she’s my Madonna or my David Bowie right now. She mixes this boyish factor with her superwoman shape.’


The 29 year-old designer, whose chiselled cheekbones and famous pout totally rival his model mates’, also reveals to Runway that he’s not the party boy the press makes him out to be.

‘I love being alone,’ he confides. ‘I stay home in my pyjamas way more than I party, but, of course, I take fewer selfies in my pyjamas.’

Read the full interview in the AW15 issue of Marie Claire Runway, out now!

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