You Won’t Believe What Olivier Rousteing Told Glamour

by Paige Reddinger

Glamour’s social media issue debuts on newsstands December 8, and inside Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing dishes on how he became one of Instagram’s fashion kings, with 1.8 million followers (being besties with the Kardashian Klan helps). In the issue, the designer confesses that if he had to choose between his cellphone or sex, he would choose the former. “My cellphone is my orgasm,” Rousteing told Glamour’s Jane Keltner de Valle. But that’s not the only fun tidbit he shares. Read on for more about his fashion “squad,” promoting diversity, and how he’s using Instagram to sell those pricey Balmain jackets.

On why he joined Instagram…
“I joined Instagram on September 6, 2012. I felt like the press was trying to depict me one way, and I didn’t want to become this little prince from Paris who has this expensive French house. That isn’t what I wanted people to get from me. So with Instagram I could show other parts of my personality—and the life that I love. The first photo I posted was of my embroidery designer; it was her birthday.”

On meeting Kim Kardashian West…
“The moment that was the true launch of my Instagram is when Rihanna came to my studio and posted pictures of herself with me; I think people started to know who I was. Then I met Kim [Kardashian West] at the Met Ball with Kanye, and we had this instant connection. The Met Gala can be intimidating because there are so many actors, singers, stars. You step on a dress, it’s Taylor Swift, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ Maybe you bump into Beyoncé by mistake: ‘Oh, I apologize!’ Kim and I were shy together, so we clicked. Then she invited me to an Armenian restaurant in L.A. with her family, and I met Kris [Jenner] and fell in love. Kris built an amazing family—I love them all.”

On promoting diversity in fashion…
“I cast all different kinds of girls. Promoting diversity in fashion is important to me because it’s part of who I am. Sometimes in fashion you feel like they try to make you forget your color, and if there’s one thing I don’t want to forget, it’s my color. I’m proud, and I’m going to express it. I love, in the nineties, when there were all those top models: Cindy [Crawford], Claudia [Schiffer], Naomi [Campbell]. Those girls are strong, they have a personality, and they made fashion popular. I am pushing the same kind of aesthetic. Now it’s everyone from Gigi Hadid to Kendall Jenner to Jourdan Dunn.”

On Instagram being a part of his business…
“A lot of people in the industry don’t get that this ‘squad’ is also my business. Those regrams and likes translate into sales. At the last show buyers were requesting the dresses the girls wore to the after-party; they saw them on Instagram and wanted to get them. Before, people were buying clothes because they wanted to look like a magazine editorial. Now they go with the iPhone and show Instagram. It’s changing fashion completely.

“I read a review by a critic who was laughing about me and saying my fashion show is about thinking how it’s going to look on Instagram. Actually, she was not wrong. When you get 50,000 likes on one jacket because you thought of how the jacket is on this girl and how the light is going to reflect the jacket—I really don’t see the problem with thinking about that.”

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