Olivier Rousteing, the creative force behind Balmain, has assumed the role of «fashion godfather» at Istituto Marangoni in Paris for the year 2022, marking a special partnership between the renowned fashion college and the influential designer.

Throughout the year, this collaboration will take on various forms, as outlined in a statement by the college.

In April, Rousteing, who has led Balmain’s creative direction for more than a decade, will engage with approximately 450 students through an exclusive Masterclass. During this session, he will share insights into his personal journey in the fashion industry and respond to questions from the students. Over the course of the year, Olivier will work closely with the teaching staff at Marangoni to evaluate the various educational programs offered by the institution and explore opportunities for their enhancement.

Reflecting on this collaboration, Rousteing stated, «Not too long ago, the most influential figures in the fashion world couldn’t have imagined that someone like me, with African heritage, could lead one of the most iconic fashion houses in Paris. But times are changing. Previous generations worked tirelessly to open doors that had remained closed for far too long, and thanks to their efforts, I had the opportunity to enter and become a part of an exclusive and previously exclusive club. I owe it to them, which is why I am incredibly committed to keeping those doors wide open.» Rousteing himself grew up in Bordeaux.

This partnership underscores Marangoni’s commitment to providing top-tier mentorship to its students. In December, the institution announced that Katie Grand, a highly respected British editor, stylist, and consultant, would conduct a series of masterclasses and workshops during the first academic semester.

In September, during Paris Fashion Week, students will have the unique opportunity to participate in the Balmain Fashion Festival, a fusion of runway shows and live music performances that is a highlight of the French fashion calendar. Additionally, Maison Balmain will grant a scholarship to one student, providing financial support for their studies at Marangoni.

Rousteing expressed his vision for this collaboration, stating, «I want to support future generations and ensure that the French fashion industry truly reflects the diversity and beauty that we see on the streets of Paris today. I am proud to collaborate with Istituto Marangoni France to transform this dream into a reality.»

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