323

Exclusive interview of Olivier Rousteing, photographed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino with Gigi Hadid

 

Perfectly reflecting his times and his generation, designer Olivier Rousteing has brought a breath of pop air to fashion house Balmain. Numéro met the talented young couturier whose personality is just as seductive as his clothes.

Numéro : So where were you born, beautiful child ?

Olivier Rousteing : In Bordeaux.

 

Were you an adorable little cherub or one of those unfortunate newborns with cradle cap and hair on their chins ?

I was adorable. Ah no, now I think about it, I was fat. But I lost it very quickly.

 

At school were you more a dunce or a swot ?

I was excellent, always top of the class. I usually got 19 out of 20. A real prodigy. I passed my baccalauréat a year early with a distinction.

 

Did you have a lot of friends at the time, or were you a pariah in the playground ?

At primary school I was quite popular – I was the “puppy” everyone liked and thought was cute. In secondary school I was hated by everyone, but at sixth-form college I was a leader.

 

What did you do to make everyone hate you at secondary school ?

Nothing, except being different from everyone else at an age when kids don’t understand.

 

Different in what way ?

Different because I was into fashion, different because I had particular tastes… I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was more feminine than my classmates, but I liked to look after my appearance, and I always wore the latest fashionable brands. I must have come across as a bit of a spoilt child, and the other kids were probably jealous. What’s funny is that a number of them now send me private messages on Instagram telling me they adore me. Revenge is a dish best served cold…

 

How did your parents react when at 16 you told them you were leaving home ?

My father was against it, my mother supported me. My parents wanted me to be an attorney in international law. In the end I opted for the internationalpart, but not in law. I went up to Paris where I fell on my feet pretty easily – my parents supported me financially and I’ve a lot of family in the capital. So a lot of people were looking out for me. My biggest shock was moving to Italy: my parents stopped supporting me, and I had to do internships and dance in clubs in order to survive.

 

I don’t know which is worse...

When I danced in clubs, I was dressed, let me be clear. It was a funny experience because I was working at Roberto Cavalli’s at the time and I had fittings with [the designer] Peter Dundas until one in the morning before having to run off and change and go to the nightclub with my clothes in a bag to earn e150 a week. Which is how I paid the rent. I danced on a podium, and sometimes people would come and stub out their cigarettes on my thigh. […]

 

Interview by Philip Utz, photo by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

 

 

The December-January issue of Numéro will be out on December 1st.

 

→ Subscribe to the print edition of Numéro

→ Subscribe to the Numéro iPad app

 

 

“Mascarade”, a fashion story by Camille Vivier
850

“Mascarade”, a fashion story by Camille Vivier

Fashion Discover the exclusive fashion story "Mascarade" with Alyssa Traoré, Jamily Meurer et Noah Luis Brown, by Camille Vivier. Discover the exclusive fashion story "Mascarade" with Alyssa Traoré, Jamily Meurer et Noah Luis Brown, by Camille Vivier.

Alexander Wang dips into the Adidas archives for his fourth collaboration
869

Alexander Wang dips into the Adidas archives for his fourth collaboration

Fashion For his fourth collection with Adidas, the American designer Alexander Wang is using old creations by the sportswear label that he has deconstructed and reassembled to create 18 new pieces and 5 pairs of shoes. For his fourth collection with Adidas, the American designer Alexander Wang is using old creations by the sportswear label that he has deconstructed and reassembled to create 18 new pieces and 5 pairs of shoes.

Who is the artist Juno Calypso, responsible for Burberry’s latest Christmas campaign?
850

Who is the artist Juno Calypso, responsible for Burberry’s latest Christmas campaign?

Fashion For the latest Burberry campaign, London based artist Juno Calypso proposes an imaginary version of the spirit of Christmas with Naomi Campbell, Kristin Scott Thomas and M.I.A among others. For the latest Burberry campaign, London based artist Juno Calypso proposes an imaginary version of the spirit of Christmas with Naomi Campbell, Kristin Scott Thomas and M.I.A among others.

"Baby blue”, a fashion story by Sofia Sanchez et Mauro Mongiello
876

"Baby blue”, a fashion story by Sofia Sanchez et Mauro Mongiello

Fashion Discover the exclusive fashion story "Baby blue”, with Nuage Lepage, by Sofia Sanchez, Mauro Mongiello and Samuel François.  Discover the exclusive fashion story "Baby blue”, with Nuage Lepage, by Sofia Sanchez, Mauro Mongiello and Samuel François. 

547

Hugo Boss celebrates Michael Jackson with a re-edition of his legendary white suit

Fashion In parallel with the exhibition “Michael Jackson: On the Wall”, from November 23rd to February 14th 2019 at the Grand Palais, Hugo Boss is re-releasing Michael Jackson’s iconic white suit, as worn on the cover of his “Thriller” album, the highest selling record of all time. A capsule collection that's completed with a few unisex pieces featuring the figure of the king of pop.   In parallel with the exhibition “Michael Jackson: On the Wall”, from November 23rd to February 14th 2019 at the Grand Palais, Hugo Boss is re-releasing Michael Jackson’s iconic white suit, as worn on the cover of his “Thriller” album, the highest selling record of all time. A capsule collection that's completed with a few unisex pieces featuring the figure of the king of pop.  

“Nuits fauves”, a fashion story by Emmanuel Giraud
814

“Nuits fauves”, a fashion story by Emmanuel Giraud

Fashion Discover the exclusive fashion story “Nuits fauves”, with Kirstin Liljegren, by Emmanuel Giraud and Rebecca Bleynie. Discover the exclusive fashion story “Nuits fauves”, with Kirstin Liljegren, by Emmanuel Giraud and Rebecca Bleynie.