Balmain Pick’s Deputy Designer as Decarnin’s Replacement

April 22, 2011 • Fashion


Balmain wasn't kidding—when the luxury fashion house said they would be announcing the appointment of their next head designer quickly, following the departure of creative head Christophe Decarnin, they were right.

Olivier Rousteing, a key deputy of Christophe Decarnin at Balmain, has been picked to step up to the helm of the French fashion house, according to market sources.
Balmain is finalizing the details of a contract and could reveal Rousteing’s appointment as early as next week, WWD reports. A graduate of the Paris fashion and art school ESMOD, Rousteing is a 6 year veteran of Roberto Cavalli in Milan and has been at the Balmain label since 2009.

Called "a young and promising creative dynamo", Rousteing will have to take over Decarnin's vision which was responsible for transforming the once demure label into the outlandish, elaborate name it has become today. Industry insiders hope for a similar vision which maintains the overtly sexual, edgy and rock' n roll aesthetic that has become the house's signature.

After Decarnin was absent from Balmain’s fall-winter 2011 show last month,(allegedly under doctor’s orders), tensions between the designer and Balmain’s chairman and chief executive officer, Alain Hivelin, reached a breaking point. After a five-year collaboration, the two men were said to have had at very different views on the fast-growing company’s strategy and future direction. Since Decarnin's arrival at the label in 2005, Balmain has become one of the most coveted seats during Paris Fashion Week, and its high prices have not deterred a loyal following who continue to sell out the label's inventory one season after the next. With this new appointment, Rousteing clearly has big shoes to fill.

-Alia Rajput

Article Source: WWD

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