25-Year-Old Olivier Rousteing Is Balmain’s New Designer

Since early April there have been questions about who will take Christophe Decarnin’s place in Balmain. The Paris-based fashion house appears to have made its choice and 25-year-old Olivier Rousteing is set to take over as Balmain’s new designer. Rousteing may seem a tad young, but he has been with Balmain since 2009 and presently takes care of the fashion brand’s women’s wear line. Prior to Balmain, he worked at Roberto Cavalli for a good five years. That should hold him in good stead.

Under Decarnin, Balmain had become a much-wanted brand, even leading to a robbery outside a store some years back. So Rousteing will have to step up his game to produce clothes that ooze rocker-chick glamour for 30-somethings.

Marcelo Maquieira, the Balmain buyer for Amsterdam-based Ennu, notes that the fashion brand has been doing well despite the lack of advertising, look-books, runway show DVDs and so on. He says that the brand enjoys a whopping 90 percent sell through. Balmain is a rather exclusive brand, but its designs hit the mark most of the time. Maquieira recalls how he bought six pieces of a single jacket from last fall’s line – a risky move considering that the store has only about 10 Balmain customers. But five of those six pieces sold of in a week’s time.

Claudine Barnabe, the Balmain buyer for L’Espionne noticed a drop in design quality in Decarnin’s Fall pre-collection in January, though she bought the line anyway. So Rousteing might just be a good thing. Meanwhile, the fashion label has launched its online store. And Maquieira admits that the Balmain customer doesn’t really care who the designer is, as long as the designs rock.

Via: New York Times

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