OLIVIER ROUSTEING FOR NIKELAB
You would be forgiven for thinking that king of the Balmain army, Olivier Rousteing would not be a seasoned supporter of the great game of football. Until now, it was a safe assumption that he would have been more at home on the catwalk than the centre-line, but as a recent collaboration proved, you´d be wrong.
This season, Rousteing has a more personal reason for focusing on the pitch with his launch collaboration of NikeLab x Olivier Rousteing: Football Nouveau, which acts as a harmonious marriage of Nike’s technically advanced fabrics with Rousteing’s love of dark, high octane glamour. The collection will be available from 2nd June and has already won international acclaim as ´a new level of sport-luxe´ and the clothes and images are just as sexy as you´d hope, with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo featuring in the campaign alongside Olivier.
The collaboration started around 1 year ago when Nike approached the Balmain boss about the possibility of developing a sleek, chic collection; “I said yes, obviously. Nike is a great brand; it is more than a brand! When I was a kid, I wore Nike! I was really proud that they came to me ” he proudly explained.
In an attempt to build relations and understand the mechanics of the brand and materials, Rousteing travelled to Nike’s legendary Oregon headquarters, where an engagement in all elements of sport and athletics that left him startled. “I went to Portland a year ago, I saw for myself the sheer scale of the campus that Nike has it´s huge! The archive, the innovation and technology, it´s such a different world, a healthy world ” he said of the excursion.
¨It’s on the glamorous side but wearable, so even people not into sport can find things they love in the collection.¨ – Olivier Rousteing
Like all rewarding associations, each designer had to demonstrate flexibility and respect. “I love craftsmanship and va-va-voom,” Rousteing claimed, explaining that he played with key details of the collection such as the patch and logo details. “I really wanted gold and embroidery everywhere.” Nike toned down some of his more grandiose concepts and for his part, Rousteing had gifted a wholesome mega-brand a sprinkling of Parisian ´je ne sais pas.´
Although the clothes are more sporty than sport, it has to be remembered that these pieces are meant to be worn on the street and dance floor and not necessarily in a sports centre or football pitch itself. The Rousteing / Nike team did show the initial concepts to professional soccer players, who loved the collaboration and the style as Olivier explained; “It’s on the glamorous side but wearable, so even people not into sport can find things they love in the collection.”
So, if you are planning to invest in this collection, what key pieces should you look out for? Well, according to Olivier; “the body-con dress for the ladies. I am really proud of that, and the black and gold cropped top, because it has a hip-hop dancer / singer feeling.” This partnership is a unique one in the sports world as not only is Olivier the designer, but also the advertiser.
With the Euro 2016 games looming in Paris in June, will he be sporting this collection when kick off commences? “Yes, I usually do watch when it’s my French team playing as I am patriotic. Plus, I can’t wait to wear the hoodie with the gold piping and swoosh for men!” Even if France don´t win on the pitch this summer, thanks to Olivier, they will most certainly win off it.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald
Photography: Olivier Rousteing / NikeLabs