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BLACK CREATORS

Olivier Rousteing

Rousteing, who was only twenty-five years old when he was chosen Creative Director in 2011, has effectively grafted an instantly recognized style onto Balmain. Rousteing has managed to impose a distinctive silhouette while relying on the house’s vast heritage for inspiration and fully exploiting the atelier’s exceptional mastery of complex, traditional couture methods. the designer’s own generation of young men and women—live their lives Season after season, the runways underscore the present Balmain world’s lively, inclusive diversity as well as the relevance of 21st-Century culture, particularly today’s music, in that world.

Olivier Rousteing was appointed creative director at Balmain in 2011 at the age of 24, making him the youngest creative director in Paris since Yves Saint Laurent. The designer, who is well-known for his social media activity, has mastered the art of catering to the digital youth.

The steep professional path of the French designer was paved with opportunity. As an orphan in Bordeaux, he was quickly adopted and enrolled at Paris’s Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode. After graduating in 2003, he began his work at Roberto Cavalli as a designer, soon rising to become head of the brand’s womenswear branch. Rousteing joined Balmain as a women’s ready-to-wear designer in 2009 and worked closely with the house’s then-creative director, Christophe Decarnin, who became a mentor to him. Rousteing was named Decarnin’s successor when he stepped down in April 2011.

Alain Hivelin, Balmain’s then-chairman and primary owner, who died at the end of 2014, was instrumental in Decarnin’s relatively unknown protégé’s meteoric climb. Rousteing is now at the helm of the company, which has become synonymous with red carpet couture. Roustieng reports to CEO Massimo Pimbini, who was hired in 2017 following Mayhoola for Investments’ majority interest acquisition a year prior.

Rousteing was a pioneer of Instagram marketing, with his “Balmain Army” of influencers dressed in the brand’s characteristic military style. It is led by a group of powerful, internationally recognized women and trendy virtual influencers, including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian West, and computer-generated models Margot, Shudu, and Zhi, all of whom have a sizable following on the network. Rousteing’s digital prowess prompted a Balmain-themed Snapchat selfie filter and the Balmain app, which launched in 2019 alongside the brand’s digital flagship store, which was launched in collaboration with Yoox, the Net-a-Porter group, and the Mazarine luxury e-commerce platform. Additionally, Balmain was one of the first brands to join Instagram’s new shopping function in 2019.

Additionally, the French designer is a major supporter for diversity in the fashion industry, a message that resonates with his international clientele. Rousteing is an inspiration to a number of budding designers who lacked a successful mixed-race role model until lately. He also demonstrated his commitment to the topic in his Spring/Summer 2019 campaign, which featured Cara Delevigne in a tribute to Janet Jackson’s Janet album artwork, conceptualizing the marriage of white and black skin.

In May 2017, Balmain and L’Oréal Paris partnered on a lipstick range he developed. He mentioned the collaboration as a way to make Balmain more accessible to a broader audience. Roustieng was commissioned by Beyoncé to create three couture garments for her Coachella 2018 performance. Additionally, the designer has resurrected Balmain’s haute couture status, unveiling a capsule collection of atelier items in 2018 and a Spring couture show in Paris in 2019, 16 years after the brand first captivated the fashion world.

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