Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing opens up about fire accident

SOlivier Rousteing, 36, has been Balmain’s chief designer for ten years. In the anniversary show two weeks ago, he showed several dresses whose fabrics resembled bandages, the bodies of the models the closest bandaged. On Saturday, Olivier Rousteing announced on Instagram that he himself wore these bandages last year, not voluntarily because they can also be fashionable, but because he suffered a serious fire accident. “Exactly one year ago, the fireplace in my house exploded,” the designer wrote. He did not wake up until the following day at the Hôpital Saint Louis hospital in Paris. “I did everything I could to hide this story from as many people as possible.” In retrospect, he could only explain his shame with his obsession with perfection in fashion. “And with my own insecurity.”

Jennifer Wiebking

Editor of the “Life” section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

Olivier Rousteing is actually known for broadcasting his life on social media in real time. He was adopted from an orphanage as a baby, and as a chief designer, he publicly searched for his mother two years ago with the Netflix documentary “Wonder Boy.” “This question has haunted me for so long,” he told FAZ Magazine in an interview in July. “I’ve been looking for answers for so long and the camera made sure I did not give up.” Back then, it was about talking about his role model in fashion. Rousteing does not exclusively see herself as a designer of beautiful dresses. “I want to show that behind the facade, behind this glamor, something else is at stake.”

With Balmain, Rousteing was one of the first in Paris to deliberately show people of different skin colors on catwalks. When he started working for Balmain in 2011 (he was only 25 at the time), few would have known about it. “For a long time, no one was listening to me. It was frustrating,” he told FAZ magazine. In the early years, opinions about his creative production were also different. Referring to his own insecurity, he said in September: “When you’re 25 and get the worst reviews, you think life’s over.”

At the time of the interview in July, Rousteing appeared to have recovered from his accident, his skin was flawless, and he also had his picture taken. “I hid my scars with face masks, turtlenecks, long sleeves and even more rings on my fingers across several interviews and photo surgeries,” he wrote on Instagram. He is now better than ever: “Now a year later everything is healed, I am happy and healthy.”

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