Olivier Rousteing says he loves Zara's Balmain copies

Olivier Rousteing says he loves Zara's Balmain copies

Thinks it's "genius"

Editor: Buro 24/7

Image: Lola Lagerfeld
Image: Global Grind

Most designers are none-too-pleased to see their precious designs replicated on the high street, no matter how haute the imitation. Other than Olivier Rousteing that is, he thinks it's, "even better than what I do!"

"I think it was Coco Chanel who said if you're original, be ready to be copied," said Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing recently – repeating the theme of a recent chat with Buro 24/7, where he explained why he doesn't mind the high street, especially one Spanish retailer in particular, copying his clothes.

"I love seeing a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Céline and Proenza! I think that's genius. 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."

As the only mixed-race designer presently heading up a major fashion label, his latest campaign reflects "the diversity of beauty" – while his previous advertising work enlisted his friend Rihanna.

"I love seeing a woman, the feeling of a model, a top model," Rousteing told The Independent regarding the singer. "When you look at an old Versace show, you loved the dress, but you loved Claudia Schiffer, you loved Cindy Crawford. Supermodels! With Rihanna you get that, too. Today people are looking at Rihanna like they were looking at Naomi Campbell or Claudia... Nobody wants to be a model, everybody wants to be a singer. That's the new dream. I think having Rihanna in the campaign is like having Cindy Crawford of Christy Turlington, but for my generation."

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