Olivier Rousteing shares how he brought Balmain into the social media age...
Olivier Rousteing, the man credited with bringing fashion house Balmain firmly into the social media age, has explained exactly what makes Kim Kardashian and Rihanna his ideal modern muses.
Olivier was appointed as creative director of the French mega-house in 2011 and aged just 25, came complete with a fiercely loyal gang of super-hot celeb mates including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kendall Jenner, Kim and Kanye West.
‘I keep [founder] Pierre Balmain in my mind because he loved strong women, women who have something to say,’ Olivier told The Telegraph. ‘All the French designers – Balmain, Poiret, Dior, Balenciaga – they believed in strong women.’
‘When you look at the fashion brands, how many followers do they have? Balmain has 1.1 million. It’s like 10 per cent of what those girls have. It shows you the power of the personality more than the power of the entire brand.’
Every starlet’s gay best friend, Olivier has been a red carpet date to Kate Bosworth, Kim, Rosie and more over the last few years. He doesn’t just design their outfits, he’s an Instagram sensation in his own right and goes to all the parties too. One regular client Olivier is particularly infatuated with, though, is Rihanna.
‘She has this aura, this charisma,’ he says. ‘It’s not only sexual. It’s something else. She is like a new Grace Kelly, or a Madonna… This woman of the world who represents a new world.’
‘Fashion had started to forget women in a way, and concentrate too much on the clothes. For me it made no sense. In fashion the biggest moment was when the models were celebrities – we all remember Naomi, Claudia, Carla, Linda. The woman had to come back; the curved woman, and different kinds of body shapes. I don’t like skinny girls. I want to represent a real woman, not just a shadow or a ghost.’