Pictured above is Olivier Rouseting. Earlier this week, he was announced as the designer to replace Christopher Decarnin as the head designer of Balmain. At 25, he is the youngest head of a major fashion house at the moment.
Before assuming the role, he served as the head of Balmain’s Womenswear Studio since 2009, and before that, worked for over five years as a designer at Italian fashion house, Roberto Cavalli. He studied fashion at l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode (ESMOD), the first fashion school established in Paris.
Rouseting’s new position got me thinking about young designers, particularly male, who have been at the forefront of a female dominated industry. Since Rouseting has decided that he won’t speak publicly until his Spring 2012 Balmain collection premieres at Paris fashion week, I decided to spotlight 3 other young male designers in the spotlight, thirty and under. I decided not to place a number to any of their names as that would put them in a particular order.
So here they are;
The first time I heard of this designer was in 2008 when he was nominated for the CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund award. Now any avid VOGUE reader knows the purpose of this award. For those not it in the know, it was established to help fund the designs of upcoming fashion designer.
Although he started out as a doll maker, he soon moved into to mainstream when André Leon Talley (editor-at-large of VOGUE US & judge on America’s Next Top Model) introduced him to the First Lady, Michelle Obama. She bought four dresses from Wu, which she wore on a TV segment shortly before the November 2008 election, another at the inaugural ball on the night of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, the next on the cover of VOGUE US, and on she and the President’s first official European trip, during which she met Queen Elizabeth II.
Since then, his label has spread wings and blossomed into a favorite amongst A-listers and models. Here are some pieces from his last collection:
He refuses to give his age, so till proven wrong, I’ll say he’s 30 lol. Although he launched his first collection under his own name in 2009, the designer was no novice to fashion. Before this collection, he was the designer director of Bill Blass.
Raised in Nepal, he moved to the US in 1999 and interned with Donna Karan while attending
my dream school Parsons School of Design. Like Wu, he was a nominee (and runner-up) for the CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund award.
His clientele includes Michelle Obama, Demi Moore, Zoe Saldana, Oprah Winfrey, and most recently, Ciara, who he dressed for the Met Gala over the weekend.
Here are some pieces from his last collection:
A renegade. He was rejected by two of the biggest fashion schools in the world, Parsons and Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). In 2007, he interned at a magazine from which he snuck into all the big fashion events in New York, posing as an editor.
In the next year, he completed work on his debut collection and presented it at New York Fashion Week to an audience of industry rockstars such as VOGUE Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley, VOGUE Style Director, Alexandra Kotur and many more and most recently, his Spring 2011 collection presented at the Peninsula Hotel in NYC was seen by Andre Leon Talley, Diane Von Furstenburg, and many more heavyweights with a bevy of supermodels walking for him.
Check out the Spring 2011 collection: