Olivier Rousteing: Diversity in fashion is a must
Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing is determined to fight for diversity within the fashion industry.
The French designer was adopted as a baby, growing up in the region of Bordeaux before moving to Paris to study at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode.
He's going from strength to strength in the world of fashion, but still feels there are areas which need to be addressed.
“I realised I was different from the moment I was 11 years old and from this moment I said, ‘I’m going to fight for diversity,'" he told CNN. “I don’t know where I come from, and I still don’t know, but with fashion I could identify myself to something.”
This is one of the reasons Olivier practises such miscellaneous casting for his campaigns and dressing famous names. Stars such as Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian have all wowed in his designs and Olivier feels the women reflect his vision perfectly.
“I choose all those muses that actually are really different, really modern,” he explained.
“I wanna dress different girls, different women. For example Kim, she’s powerful, she represent the new family.”
Reality star Kim has become such a hit with the 29-year-old fashion expert that she is somewhat of a muse for his brand.
Her younger half-sister Kendall features in Olivier's latest campaign, for his Balmain x H&M line, joining Gigi Hadid and Jourdan Dunn. He notes that the past is no longer the biggest inspiration for creations and that people should embrace the present and future.
Olivier became creative director of Balmain aged 26, but it wasn't just his tender years that made him stand out. He was the first black designer at a heritage fashion house.
“People think modernity is about clothes, but I think the real modernity is about diversity," he added.
“I hope I can change the mentality... Diversity should be a topic for all the creative people.”