Mag Spread : Balmain's Oliver Rousteing for Out Magazine

4:20 AM

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“When I heard Balmain in a rap song, I thought, We made it,” This is what happens when french house Balmain has a young social media savvy as the head of the company.  He knows what his doing connecting to his fans and crtitcs. And those structured pieces who wouldn't be rapping out it this designer. I loved this piece on him by Out Magazine as he talks about racism both personally and within fashion. For someone who is so highly ranked in the fashion world I love that he is speaking out about these issues and is on the forefront of changing this ideals that fashion is for only 'white people'. Here are my favourite parts below. You can read the full interview here.

Rousteing, who is of mixed race, was adopted at the age of 1. “I don’t see myself as black or as white,” he says, “just human. When I was 11, I didn’t realize my [adoptive] parents were white. My parents taught me when you are their child they love you. People in school told me, ‘You are a bastard. You are black, and your parents are white.’ I didn’t know there was a problem.”

“People were like, ‘Oh my God, he’s a minority taking over a French house!’ ” Rousteing recalls. “For me, I’m just French. Yeah, I’m black, but go out into the street — there’s black, white, Chinese, Arab…”
Still-rampant racism is all the more glaring in an industry based upon image. It is most evident in today’s all-white runway shows and campaigns, but the underlying problem is the corporate and creative structure behind the scenes. It’s one thing to have models of color on the runway, but a bigger stride — and rarity — to have a non-white creative director. Whether he wanted the responsibility or not, Rousteing had the duties of role model and groundbreaker foisted upon him. It has made him think about race in fashion conceptually, and also about his place in changing the status quo.
“Look at perfume campaigns,” he says. “You never see black girls, and if you do, they use Photoshop so much that they almost look white. It’s just wrong. People post on my Instagram that they are so happy to see black boys and black girls. I’m happy that they see it and don’t think that fashion belongs to white people. Comments on my Instagram are more important than what critics say. It’s deep. I don’t care if you think my shoulders are too big or too small this season. I don’t care if you think my coat isn’t oversized enough.”
He pauses and adds: “It’s going to sell anyway.”
He continues, “You need to have someone from outside to make you want to rediscover Paris. I needed to have Americans in my campaign. She is American and Armenian and has a mixed-race baby. That for me is what I want to show. They’re global. Paris and Balmain need to go global.”

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