The fashion community has long had the ability to define beauty and fashion trends throughout the world. It can be argued that the fashion industry is the authority that sets the standard that we all abide by. The fashion world has the unique ability to showcase whatever the believe to be beautiful, and push this ideology to the masses. So, when runway shows present a fully Caucasian line-up of models, it is clear that the fashion industry is off trend when it comes to embracing diversity. Luckily, this reality is sparking conversation and action from many notable designers, including Balmain designer and creative director Olivier Rousteing.
During a sit down with journalist and editor Alina Cho at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Olivier Rousteing spoke freely about his personal life and his desire to see more diversity throughout the fashion industry. Rousteing explained how he himself is no stranger to feeling marginalized. As an adopted black child to an all white family, Rouesting remembers having early memories of feeling "different". His personal experiences make him even more passionate about promoting diversity in the fashion industry, and he encourages the industry to do the same.
ELLE Magazine summarized Rousteing's thoughts on diversity in a related article. Rouesting said, "The fashion industry talks a lot, but it doesn't act a lot. Diversity is my role. I love expressing my world and my world is all about diversity. I love representing all the cultures that I can with my fashion. This for me is the most important thing. The industry needs to start working really hard now. When you can see a show with no color and they call that chic and modern, I'm sorry but I can't agree. Diversity today is what is the actuality. We have the chance now and we need to express it."
Balmain embraced diversity during Paris Fashion Week by featuring women of all shades, and plans to continue representing people of all genders, colors, and sexual orientations in seasons to come.