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Olivier Rousteing wants to promote inclusivity in the fashion industry

Designer Olivier Rousteing for Balmain at Men's Fashion Week in Paris. (Picture: Reuters)

Designer Olivier Rousteing for Balmain at Men's Fashion Week in Paris. (Picture: Reuters)

Published Jul 15, 2019


Olivier Rousteing is committed to promoting inclusivity in the fashion industry and insists he needs that new energy "if it's going to survive".

The 33-year-old fashion guru proved his commitment to inclusivity it by inviting 2,000 people from all different backgrounds to attend his Balmain Spring/Summer 2020 show during Paris Fashion Week in June.

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The French designer brought those people with him to Paris because he wanted his show to be modern and create excitement.

Balmain Fashion show at Men's Fashion Week in Paris. (Picture: Reuters)

She said: "I just wanted to bring more people in that love fashion! Everybody talks about inclusivity in fashion, but what about doing inclusivity properly? I sometimes feel that bringing people in from the outside gives you more energy. 

"Everybody who works in fashion uses the words 'chic', 'modern' and 'cool', and the meanings started to be overused and a bit dated, so I wanted to bring more energy in. Fashion needs energy if it's going to survive. I want people to be excited and curious about fashion again."

Olivier became the creative director of Balmain aged just 24, and the designer has insisted he has been advocating for inclusivity and diversity in his collections since he got the job in 2011.

Speaking to British GQ, he said: "Of course, I feel responsible with so many things to do with fashion. Fashion can talk about so many different topics: #metoo, diversity, inclusivity, sustainably. I think fashion can become political depending on the way you show your clothes. 

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"The thing is with Balmain, of course you can put me and it in a box of just being glamour and flashy clothes on boys and girls, but if you look a bit deeper you can see that I was one of the first creative directors to push for diversity in my collections, since 2011, when I became creative director at 24-years-old." 

And Olivier went on to admit the Balmain customer has changed in the eight years he's worked there because men are "not scared to be feminine" and want to "show off their bodies" more than ever,.

He added: "Menswear counts for 40 per cent of the Balmain business now. We're selling a lot more colour to men than we used to. They're buying pink T-shirts, for instance, which they wouldn't have done eight years ago. 

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"They're also buying more embroidered jackets because they want to feel glamorous. More and more men want to just show off their bodies and not scared to be feminine."

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