Balmain's Olivier Rousteing Announces 'See Now, Buy Now' Plans

With his outsized social media presence and famous friends, it's not a bad idea.
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Olivier Rousteing and Kendall Jenner at the Balmain for H&M launch. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for H&M

Olivier Rousteing and Kendall Jenner at the Balmain for H&M launch. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for H&M

Another day, another designer announcing plans to, in layman's (or the Public School designers') terms, say "fuck it" to the traditional fashion calendar. Speaking with Instagram's Eva Chen at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday, Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing discussed, for the first time, his feelings about "see now, buy now." Unsurprisingly, he's into it.

"I believe in 'see now, buy now'" — we have to stay connected and go faster," he said, as recounted by Vogue UK. "We are probably going to head for [that system], for sure. But it's important to keep key pieces that you will sell later and also have pieces that are available immediately after the show. It's good to have a mix of price points too." A rep for Balmain could not immediately be reached for comment.

During his time at Balmain, Rousteing has been a poster child for democratizing luxury fashion and bringing consumers into the conversation, most prominently through Instagram, but also platforms like Kim Kardashian's mobile game and a collaboration with H&M. Thus, it's no surprise to hear that he's a proponent of "see now, buy now." Unless you consider that the concept has been pretty unpopular in Paris: French fashion's governing body, the Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode, announced in February that it had considered and rejected the idea based on discussions among executives at top fashion houses including Chanel and Hermes. Their argument: that luxury consumers have no problem waiting for a truly high-quality garment, which is perhaps why Rousteing says he will "keep key pieces" to sell later.

A model similar to Moschino's seasonal capsule collections, which are relatively affordable, tightly edited and available immediately after the brand's runway shows, seems likely. Not unlike Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott, Rousteing has the social media following and dedicated Instagirl friend group to drum up interest in instantly-shoppable items. But price point will be critical to the collection's success, since we're willing to bet that not many people will impulsively buy a $7,000 dress online.

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