Creative Director since: 2011
The longevity of a brand rests on its ability to adapt. Every prestigious fashion house, including Balmain, must adapt. Luckily for this label, Olivier Rousteing's vision since he took over as creative director at the age of 25 has always faced forward. Since 2011, his collections have created polarizing opinions, but the volume and strength of his praises have re-established Balmain as a leading name in the high-fashion arena.
Strictly from a design aesthetic standpoint, Rousteing has taken a lot of inspiration from his predecessor, Christophe Decarnin, who turned Balmain's image around completely from traditional haute couture to rock and biker glam with biker jeans and leather jackets that we still cherish today. Decarnin may have set this course, but Rousteing has had zero issues continuing to build on the brand's recent success while utilizing his A-list connections and combining them with a keen understanding of societal relevance. While it's still priority number one to put on the most professional and awe-inspiring shows at fashion week, Rousteing is one of the few creative directors who also comprehends the importance of maintaining relationships with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kanye West, and other figures in the public realm that inspire consumer purchases and overall style. It's this modern knowledge that has allowed Balmain to flourish and transcend the upper echelons to become a household name on the lips of people who only casually follow fashion.