Olivier Rousteing made sure the Black Lives Matter movement was represented in Balmain’s river cruise show on Sunday.
Kicking off Paris’ Digital Couture Week with #BalmainSurSeine, the label head gave Parisians a fashion show to remember over the weekend, sailing a boat down the river Seine which celebrated Balmain’s work over the decades.
As well as images of past collections, Rousteing called on singer Yseult and the same cast of Black dancers who performed in his fall 20 show back in January.
“Renewed calls for justice and equality – heard on streets all across the world today – are in reaction to tragic losses, but their growing strength and force allow us to dream of the possibilities of long-delayed changes, pushed forward by a newly energised and impressive mix of young, determined and diverse voices,” he said in a statement. “Today’s dance draws inspiration from this moment and our shared longing for actual progress.
“(My optimism for future change) a reflection of my own personal history – after all, it was not too long ago that someone like me was never meant to end up in the position that I occupy today. I love that I work for a house that supports me and has joined with me in pushing for inclusion and changes from the very first day that I began working here.”
The event, which was live-streamed on TikTok, also marked the end of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Calling the past season “a dark one”, Rousteing talked about the effects isolation has had on the people of his home city.
“Forced apart, we suddenly realised that we depended on being together. Locked inside, we longed for the beauty of the outside public spaces of our hometown, Paris. And, faced with the unending reports of unbelievable losses, we came to truly understand the transformative power of solidarity,” he shared.
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