Last night, fashion’s it-crowd–from Karlie Kloss to BryanBoy to Vogue editors like Virgina Smith and Meredith Melling Burke–headed to Harlem for a dinner at Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster. The occasion? A Vogue-hosted fete for Balmain‘s new ‘Pierre’ handbag, made in collaboration with jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann.
Amid the air kisses and copious amounts of champagne, we managed to snag a few moments with the man of the hour, Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, who dished (in his adorable French accent) on travelling the globe non-stop, and why he hopes to hang out with Alexander Wang in Paris.
Thanks for having us Olivier! When did you get in from Paris?
I got to New York today. I came two hours ago and I leave tomorrow.
Wow. That is a whirlwind trip! It’s crazy how much designers have to travel nowadays.
I love it. I think that’s the cool thing of the job. You create clothes, show them on the models and you have a fashion show. But these parties make your dream come true, because you see those clothes on real women [who are enjoying them and enjoying themselves]. That’s part of the job and actually I think that’s the best part of the job.
Do you feel burnt out from traveling so much?
No. I love it. I sleep on the plane, it’s the only moment my phone is switched off, my email is switched off. I arrive here [and] I’m happy, enjoying [myself], and then tomorrow I sleep again on the plane, and I come back to the office, stronger with [my head] full of shiny clothes.
How do you feel about Alexander Wang’s appointment at Balenciaga?
Really happy. I think it’s great, he’s really young, I think he already proved with his brand, what he’s going to do, what his greatest talent is. I think it’s good for Paris to get this new talent. And an American one, too. I think it will be important for the rest of the Parisian houses to understand how they can go [farther].
Are you guys going to hang out in Paris?
Actually I really don’t know him. So, let’s hope. Because there’s so few young designers in Paris. So maybe I will have a friend there.
Yeah! You should take him under your wing there.
Yeah, I would love to become his friend because I think we are the same age, and we both belong to these big really rich brands, luxurious and old houses. So that’s already a strong common point. Obviously he has his past, I have my own past, he has his style, I have my own style. I think it’s great though that two young people can work for these [old, storied] brands.
Click through to see pictures from the event.