London’s DailyMail breaks down the rise of a Fashion Power House Olivier Rousteing who is creative director of Balmain, which is loved by A-listers such as Kardashians, Jenners and Cara Delevingne plus more.
How did an orphan from France become the most in-demand couturier?
Born into humble beginnings, Olivier was adopted at the age of one by a white French couple. Growing up in Bordeaux, France, Olivier’s father managed the seaport and his mother was an optician. The couple had high hopes for their son to excel at school and go on to become a lawyer he almost followed. Olivier, who is fluent in French, English, German and Italian, left school at 17 to study law, but his parents’ dreams were dashed when he dropped out a month later and moved to Milan.
He quickly gained exclusive internships at famed fashion houses, including a stint at Roberto Cavalli, but had to dance in a night club to earn his spending money. Clearly impressed by his work ethic, Olivier became an assistant and then a respected designer at Cavalli during his five-year stint there. By 2009, he had joined label-of-the-moment, Balmain, where he quickly rose through ranks and became head of women’s wear, and by age 25 he was running the label as creative director. Close friendships with Hollywood’s Elite helped cement his status as the designer everyone wanted on speed dial and when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West fronted his campaign last year, people outside of the fashion industry started to notice.
Thanks to his A-list friends such as Kim and Kanye West, Olivier quickly grew close to their inner circle, and calling on Hollywood IT girls, Kendall and Kylie to pose in his campaign, alongside supermodel sisters, Bella and Gigi Hadid. Now every girl wants to be in his ‘Balmain Army’ and he regularly arrives to parties dripping with supermodels, such as Alessandra Ambrosio, Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn, and is enlisted by Rihanna, Beyonce and Jane Fonda to dress them for red carpet events. Above all, Rousteing is known for his ethically diverse catwalks – something he is keen to maintain. He always has the most in-demand names walking in his shows and last week’s Balmain X H&M fashion show was case in point. As the most anticipated collaboration of the year, Olivier made sure he went all out for his show in New York.
Jourdan Dunn, Alessandra Ambrosio, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss and Bella Hadid all walked in his spectacle, which was watched from the front row by Kylie Jenner, Lewis Hamilton, Ellie Goulding and Alexa Chung, and included a performance from Backstreet Boys. Despite not being available to buy until November 5, the Balmain X H&M collection is without a doubt the most highly-anticipated collaboration of the year.
As the lookbook attests, it’s full of the kind of glitzy, embellished and tailored designs the Hollywood brat pack – and Olivier’s loyal fan girls – have made their signature. Many of the pieces are made with luxurious satin and come embellished with his signature pearl, rope and gold embroidery. The pieces, which are reimaginings of his red carpet classics for fans on a budget, are structured and tailored to enhance the feminine form – something that makes him so popular among young Hollywood. Like his celebrity clientele and friends, Olivier is social media savvy, with 1.5 million Instagram followers of his own and an impressive 2.6 million for his label, making Balmain the first French label to pass the million-follower mark. While Olivier’s personal net worth has never been disclosed, there’s no doubt his bank balance is booming – and will continue to do so as long as his roster of Hollywood fans step out festooned in his glitzy garments.
If you missed the Balmain X HM Fall Fashion Show don’t worry it’s right here http://