Overnight, 16 actresses hit the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival dressed in Balmain. Whilst that may not sound unusual for a festival event, it is particularly significant given that the press call was for a project called Black Is Not My Profession.

Aiming to highlight the discrimination faced by black actors in the French and American entertainment industries, the multimedia project includes a documentary, directed by Aïssa Maïga, which includes the stories of 15 women, as well as Maïga's. 

Last night, the 16 women — Nadège Beausson-Diagne, Mata Gabin, Maïmouna Gueye, Eye Haidara, Rachel Khan, Sara Martins, Marie-Philomène Nga, Sabine Pakora, Firmine Richard, Sonia Rolland, Magaajyia Silberfeld, Shirley Souagnon, Assa Sylla, Karidja Touré, France Zobda and Maïga — all appeared together wearing outfits by Balmain.

Balmain x Cannes Film Festival

Speaking with WWD, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing said he was approached by Maïga for the project and that he said yes immediately. "The moment I was asked to participate, I knew it was right for me and for this brand, to form a part of this moment. The simple message of the importance of inclusion that these actors are bringing to us is one that I've often repeated over the years — and I've been lucky enough to work at a house that believes in it as strongly as I do. Our 'Balmain Army' celebrates the beautiful diversity of France and the rest of the modern world — we hope others will join us soon." 

And speaking of inclusion, find out what Marvel Studios President Steven Feige had to say about the company's plans for a female Muslim superhero movie