After the melancholic departure of Christophe Decarnin, the House of Balmain finally chose a new head designer, a much younger, more attractive Olivier Rousteing. Olivier Rousting (age 25) worked for five years at Roberto Cavalli before joining Balmain in 2009.
Ennu Amsterdam, a boutique that sells designer labels like Alaia, Ann Demeulemeester, Balenciaga, Balmain, Comme Des Garcons, Haider Ackermann, Junya Watanabe, Rick Owens and Sacai (to name a few), has purchased Balmain since 2005. Marcelo Maquieira (buyer for Ennu Amsterdam) confirms that with very little advertising, no look books or DVDs of the show, Balmain has consistently had a 90% sell through.
Such difficult shoes to fill (as the ones Sarah Burton had to fill at Alexander McQueen), but will Rousting be able to cope with the demand? Surprisingly yes. Despite the lack of rock-n-roll glamour Christophe Decarnin made famous at Balmain, Olivier Rousteing still survived Paris Fashion Week with good reviews. Fran Burns, fashion editor for British VOGUE, spoke well of the young designer, “He obviously has a deep understanding of what has made Balmain so successful. He’s really well versed in the DNA of the brand and it’s clear that he knows what the Balmain woman wants.”
Fairy tales do come true, at least in Olivier Rousteing’s case. Youth, beauty, his coronation into the House of Balmain and his adoring fans, it seems all that is left is a glass slipper and a fairy god-mother.
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