The Fashiontainment Questionnaire:
Olivier Rousteing

By Loïc Prigent

Questionnaire. Olivier Rousteing. - © Photo: Francesca Beltran., System Magazine

Photo: Francesca Beltran.

Loïc Prigent: On a scale of one to ten, how snobbish are you?

Maybe a six. Anything less than five isn’t healthy if you’re a designer.

How many fittings have you done today?

Three. One womenswear, one menswear, and one for a top-secret special project.

What meetings have you had today?

My first was a boxing session. My second was at the American Hospital because I fell on my knee while running on the treadmill. Then I met with the Balmain president to discuss the 2024 strategy, then meetings with my marketing and PR team, my accessories team and the production team to discuss the next menswear show. And then I met with my tax lawyer, which was less fun.

What’s your favourite fact about Pierre Balmain?

Professionally, his sense of tailoring was sharp and incredibly detailed. On the personal side, he was very mysterious, shy, and discreet about his personal life. The total opposite of me!

Do you have Beyoncé stored in your phone contacts?

I do. But when she calls me the contact name just comes up as ‘B’. Then I realized that I also have France’s First Lady [Brigitte Macron] under ‘B’. So when a call comes in that says ‘B’, I don’t know if it’s the First Lady or Beyoncé calling me.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Can I have two? Either No matter where you come from, just know where you want to go. Or I would rather to be hated for who I am than be loved for who I’m not.

What do you do with your old clothes?

I keep them all at home. Even the ones I don’t wear anymore, whether that’s because they’re no longer my style, or I’m not skinny enough to get into them. I don’t want to give them away because they all represent part of my journey, and I don’t want to forget that.

Who’s on top of your Spotify Wrapped for 2023?

Beyoncé’s Alien Superstar, then Miley Cyrus, then Taylor Swift, and then loads of Michael Jackson and Prince.

What’s your drag queen name?

I don’t have one. Should I invent one? Err… ‘Dramatica’!

What did Pierre Balmain teach you?

He’s taught me what I would say in French as ‘la résilience’; never give up, no matter what.

What are you most proud of?

Being a Balmain boy for 15 years. I hadn’t even realized it was that long until my LinkedIn popped up on my phone the other day and said ‘Happy Birthday! You’ve been at Balmain for 15 years –
since November 2008.’

What do you buy at Chanel?

What don’t I buy?! Sunglasses, beach bags, all the leather bags, jewellery, fragrance, all the minaudières purses, T-shirts, but no tweed jackets yet.

What do you buy at Rick Owens?

Sunglasses, T-shirts, beautiful jackets, my high-heel shoes, sneakers…

What do you steal at Balmain?

I buy at Balmain! I mean, it’s basically my entire wardrobe: bags, shoes, tailoring, sunglasses, T-shirts, denim, sweatshirts, jewellery…

Who is your influence?

Karl Lagerfeld. I mean, he’s just so iconic. No one can top him.

Taken from System No. 22 – purchase the full issue here.