UPDATE! As we reported yesterday, Balmain have filled the role previously held by Christophe Decarnin. We knew that the designer taking over is Decarnin's deputy, Olivier Rousteing, but not much else about him. Well, today we have an actual picture of him and my, isn't he good-looking? This obvious fact has already been stated by various editors and fashion insiders on Twitter, which makes us think there'll be renewed enthusiasm at the next Balmain show. But what about Rousteing's plans for the label, you ask? The designer is said not to be giving any interviews before the debut of his first Spring ‘12 collection in Paris later this year. We have also found out that Melanie Ward, the stylist legendary for her work with Helmut Lang, who acted as consultant for Balmain's A/W'11 collection and was considered to be in the running for the role will no longer be working for the label.
If you thought the long bank holiday weekend would offer some cooling respite from the game of fashion musical chairs you were wrong! Just as we were going through our sunbathing-in-the-nearest-patch-of-green checklist news broke that Christophe Decarnin’s successor chez Balmain had been announced.
WWD are reporting that the ‘someone unknown’ the Parisian brand was said to be hiring was in fact Olivier Rousteing, Decarnin’s deputy designer at Balmain since 2009. The French designer who has also worked at Roberto Cavalli in Milan for six years obviously has the intimate knowledge of Balmain’s DNA that the job requires and he may well have overseen the label’s latest collection alongside stylist and consultant Melanie Ward, who was also thought to be in the running for the role.
As for the ‘unknown’ part, well WWD struggled to assemble enough information for Rousteing’s profile, even resorting to scouring his LinkedIn page for details! Apparently, he speaks several languages and, according to sources, is 'a young and promising creative dynamo.' With the label’s official announcement expected at some point this week, we have our fingers crossed for Olivier and can’t wait to see where he takes Balmain next. The question remains; can Balmain produce an even more expensive ripped tee? We’ll just have to wait and see!
--- Kiki Georgiou