Balmain’s creative director Oliver Rousteing has shared a first look at the severe burns he sustained when a fireplace in his home exploded a year ago.
The 36-year-old, who took up the top post at Balmain in 2011, has revealed he was hospitalised in October 2020 when the ‘fireplace inside my house exploded’, telling his Instagram followers: ‘I’ve been hiding this for too long and it’s time for you to know.’
Rousteing shared a picture of himself holding his arms aloft and with his torso, arms, neck and forehead covered with gauze bandages.
Burns could also be seen on the bottom half of his face.
Thanking the staff at the Hôpital Saint Louis in Paris for taking care of him, Roustein explained that he had tried to hide his ordeal over the past year.
The French designer wrote: ‘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 realised 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 realise 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.’
Rousteing’s famous friends and colleagues left their well wishes beneath the post, with Donatella Versace writing: ‘I’m so glad you’re safe.’
Kim Kardashian wrote: ‘I love you’, while model Karen Elson commented: ‘Sweet heart. Such courage and bravery sharing your story. One thing I know to be true is that real beauty the kind that lights up a room is always imperfect and flawed in all the right ways. It’s the soul that shines brighter than anything else could.’
Rousteing then shared a video of his latest runway for Balmain at the end of September during Paris Fashion Week, which featured dresses made from bandages, and explained the collection represented ‘rebirth and freedom’.
He wrote: ‘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 was relatively unknown in the fashion world when he replaced Christophe Decarnin as Balmain’s creative director in 2011 at the age of 25, after two years working with the house.
Since he took over, Balmain has become a favourite with celebs including the Kardashians, Rihanna and Beyonce, and the house produced a sellout collection with H&M.
Rousteing was also the subject of the Netflix documentary Wonder Boy, which explored his rise to the top of the fashion world and his search for his birth mother, having been adopted as a baby.
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