road to recovery

Gay fashion designer Olivier Rousteing suffers horrific injuries in home explosion


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Olivier Rousteing, the gay, designer genius at the head of French fashion house Balmain, has revealed that he’s spent the past year recovering from a horrific accident at home.

Rousteing, 36, who has been head of Balmain for the past ten years, took to Instagram on the weekend to share news of the accident, which he had kept publicly secret for the past 12 months.

Accompanying a photo of himself heavily bandaged, he said, “A YEAR AGO. I finally feel ready to share this. I’ve been hiding this for too long and it’s time for you to know.

“Exactly a year ago, the fireplace inside my house exploded. I woke up the next morning in Paris’ Hôpital Saint Louis. The talented staff at that famous hospital, which was dealing with an incredible number of COVID cases at that same time, took amazing care of me. I cannot thank them enough.

“I did everything to hide this story from as many people as possible and trying to keep the secret with my teams and friends for too long.

“To be honest I am not really sure why I was so ashamed, maybe this obsession with perfection that fashion is known for and my own insecurities…

“As I recovered, I just worked days and night to forget and creating all my collections, trying to keep the world dreaming with my collections and at the same time hiding the scars with face masks, turtlenecks, long sleeves and even multiple rings on all my fingers through many interviews or fotoshoots.

“And I truly realized that the power of social media is to reveal only what you want to show! Kind of allowing us to create our own special narrative that avoids what we do not wish to see or show: this is our new world.

“Now, a year later—healed, happy and healthy.

“I realize how truly blessed I am and I thank GOD everyday of my life.

“My last show was about the celebration of healing over pain and I thank all the models the productions my team the models my Balmain family, my friends that came and supported not only my 10 years of Balmain but my rebirth.

“Today, I feel so free, so good and so lucky. I’m beginning a new chapter with a smile on my face and a heart full of gratitude.

“To the doctors and nurses at Saint Louis, and to all those who helped me during this long recovery and kept my secret: a profound thank-you. I love you. GOD BLESS YOU ALL ♥️ and again never never give up! There is always the sun after the storm.”

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Rousteing grew up in Bordeaux. He relocated to Paris to study fashion and began his design career with Italy’s Roberto Cavalli. After five years, he made the move to Balmain.

He has been credited with helping transform Balmain and raising awareness of the brand among a younger generation, partly through his use of social media.

In 2015, he told Out, “Instagram is selling a dream. My Instagram is my perfect life, and I suck my cheeks in. Of course, I cry and have family or personal problems and am heartbroken, but I don’t need to show that. It makes your life look cooler than it is. My job is to give a happy message about the brand to interest people. But at the same time, I keep it real. I don’t fake my life.”


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Rousteing has talked before about being gay and his adoption as a baby by white parents. (Rousteing found out in 2019 he has a Somali birth mother and an Ethiopian birth father). A recent Netflix documentary, Wonder Boy, explored his life, career and attempts to track down his biological mother.

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Rousteing followed up his Instagram post about the accident with another, this one featuring clips from his latest fashion show. The dresses worn by the models have clearly been influenced by Rousteing’s own bandages.

“I remember the long conversations I had with my doctor @drserror that I can’t thank enough and he told me: you will be fine, it’s gonna be fine. I remember when they took out all my bandages it felt FREEDOM,” Rousteing said in an accompanying caption.


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