Dear Shaded Viewers,
Interview with Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing, conducted by SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard as part of their 'In Fashion' series. Topics of discussion include racism, fashion snobbery and Instagram culture. Below are a few quotes.
‘I think it’s changing. There are two black designers now – there’s Kanye West and there’s me. I hope there are way more, I feel like it’s going to happen, it’s going to change. What’s interesting to me is that it’s a really old French house, that’s most significant to me, because being a black guy under thirty at one of the most luxury French houses is a big achievement. I’m really trying to change it, with my casting, with my girls, with my campaigns – I’m really trying to show the new world, because I feel that sometimes fashion is sleeping and not really realising that we are in 2015. The rules that used in ’92 don’t work anymore, the world changed, open your eyes.I think it is [a racist industry] because sometimes you hear some fashion show doesn’t want to take more than three or four black girls. How the fuck can you think like that? Me, I’m not even thinking how many I have to put in my show, that doesn’t happen to me. i don’t even see if she’s black or white, I just see that she’s beautiful. How the fuck can you think, ‘Okay, we took the one new face from this agency, we’re going to take the old face because he’s more commercial, and it’s okay, we have two.’ Like, really? 2015? How the fuck can you think like that? I really really don’t get it’
'People used to applaud at the end of a show, now it's the flash of iPhones. It's not reviews, it's regrams'
‘Don’t judge me because I have a lot of followers. Can’t you be famous and be a good designer?’
‘I’m so happy with the success of my friend Kim, because she’s like ten seasons into her reality tv show and when people say, ‘Oh, she has no talent’, she has more talent than everyone! She’s a businesswoman, she has a reality tv show that keeps going on and on, and why? Because people want truth, they want reality, and that’s also what’s happened in fashion now… I love her. I’m her biggest fan, biggest friend, I just love this woman. She’s just changing the world. If you like it or you don’t, you have to recognise that she’s changed the world. She’s a strong woman. I also think it’s really funny as a designer because everybody wants to dress her and she’s on the front row but she’s not 185 with 25 kilos, you know? That’s also interesting, she’s bringing the woman’s body back. And what’s funny about fashion is we go for girls who are too thin and now we’re going for real women with real shape and I think that’s thanks to her. She’s bringing back something really fresh in fashion. She’s also bringing the diversity because she’s American-Armenian, she’s with Kanye who is black, North is like the most beautiful mixed-race baby – I feel like that’s the new world. And at the same time she’s a super strong business woman, the most humble person, when you have dinner with her she talks to everybody. I love her, and I can trust her, it’s someone who I have in my heart and whatever happens she will always be with me. And sometimes people don’t get it, or they don’t want to, it’s jealousy. But I don’t care about what they think. In twenty years we’re going to open books and think about her, how she changed an entire world.’http://showstudio.com/project/in_fashion