In 2011, 25-year old Olivier Rousteing became the creative director of Balmain. At the time of his appointment, Rousteing was a relatively unknown designer. His age, anonymity, and race led to grumblings amongst the fashion establishment.
“People were like, ‘Oh my God, he’s a minority taking over a French house!’ ” Rousteing said in a 2015 interview.
Balmain’s gamble on the young designer paid off. Since his arrival, it is estimated that Balmain′s revenue increased 15 to 20 percent. Menswear now accounts for 40 percent of Balmain′s revenue. Rousteing also expanded the brand’s retail presence by opening Balmain stores in London and New York.
But Rousteing’s ultimate goal is to make the French fashion house relevant to a new generation. To do this he is actively engaging his 4.6 million Instagram followers.
Watch this video to see how the designer is pushing boundaries in the fashion industry.