Why Balmain's Olivier Rousteing Thinks Zara Is Genius

Why Balmain's Olivier Rousteing Thinks Zara Is Genius

The 28-year-old creative director has no problem with high street copies of his designs

It's no secret that Zara, along with H&M, Topshop and other fashion forward high street stores, are quick to respond to catwalk trends with their own take, enabling shoppers to buy into high end designs without having to max out the credit card.

While the copy-cat culture of the high street may irritate some designers whose work is watered down for mass consumption, it seems that Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing only has praise for those stores that take his designs and make them their own.

Not only that, but Rousteing reckons the high street is doing a better job then he is.

'I love seeing a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Céline and Proenza [Schouler]! I think that's genius,' Rousteing told The Independent. 'It's even better than what I do!'

'I love the styling, I love the story... I watch the windows always, and it's genius what they do today. They go fast, they have a great sense of styling and how to pick up what they have to pick up from designers. I'm really happy that Balmain is copied – when I did my Miami collection and we did the black and white checks, I knew they would be in Zara and H&M. But they did it in a clever way – they mixed a Céline shape with my Balmain print! Well done! I love that.'

At just 28, Rousteing perhaps knows better than others what his generation can and cannot afford – and that it's the young that are the trendsetters in today's society.

'I'm 28. I know not everyone can afford a thousand-dollar jacket,' Rousteing said. 'I'm doing fashion for my amazing front row every season, but at the same time I'm doing fashion for young girls, who wear their version in the street.'

Now, what about a Balmain high street collaboration? We'd like that very much thanks...

By Olivia Marks

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