According to Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, celebrities matter more than brands. And, well, duh.
"When you look at the fashion brands, how many followers do they have?" he asked the Telegraph. "Balmain has 1.1 million. It's like 10 per cent of what [Kim Kardashian and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has]. It shows you the power of the personality more than the power of the entire brand."
Which is correct: labels are arguably becoming more and more reliant on celebrity culture than on being themselves to sustain relevency — espeically when you think about Balmain, and everything from Kim Kardashian's affinity for it, and Nicki Minaj's shout-out in "Anaconda." (They love Balmain, we love Balmain.) And the brand recognizes.
"I keep Pierre Balmain in my mind because he loved strong women, women who have something to say," Rousteing continued. "All the French designers — Balmain, Poiret, Dior, Balenciaga — they believed in strong women. Their mothers were really important. In France, fashion has always been connected to the role of the woman. I keep in my mind the rules of French fashion."
So who, to the Balmain house, does the best job of epitomizing said strong woman? Rihanna, obviously.
"She has this aura, this charisma," explained Rousteing. "It's not only sexual. It's something else. She is like a new Grace Kelly, or a Madonna . . . This woman of the world who represents a new world."
Balmain gets it. Now let's see a Rihanna-Balmain crossover collection, please.