To celebrate Black History Month, Farfetch is partnering with Nataal, an insider media platform and studio dedicated to diverse storytelling around African fashion, visual arts, music and culture. In a big to spotlight emerging talent from the diaspora, kicking off the proceedings with a special campaign, is Insta-famous, creative director of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing. When the French designer joined the storied fashion house 10 years ago, he was the first Black talent to lead an historic brand in Paris (and at 25, he was also the youngest). An Instagram native, Rousteing single-handedly transformed Balmain into one of the hottest, most coveted brands on the planet, thanks to his A-List Balmain army. A pioneer of diversity in fashion, he was a sound choice.
The shoot was inspired by his favourite Black icons, Grace Jones and Prince, with models dressed in the brand's resort 21 collection. “Grace has that power, that fearlessness, and was one of the first female artists to play with androgynous dress codes”, Rousteing says of his muse. “I’m obsessed with [her] songs, so it birthed in my mind this concept of mixing music and fashion”. He continues: “Like Grace, Prince mixed men’s and women’s wardrobes at a time when people would judge you and your sexuality. He pushed boundaries, and in a way, he started the gender fluid concept we have today. And of course, I adore his music. He was beautiful and everything he did was on point”.
Behind the powerful images are photographer Kenny Germé and stylist Edem Dossou, a young, Black and Parisian duo, who refer to themselves as soul brothers, and whose first time it was working on a luxury campaign. “It was great to measure how these icons from Black culture still have influence today, and how the collection pays homage to them in a modern way,” says Dossou. “Olivier Rousteing has made what Balmain is today – strong, recognisable and desirable – and so we hope this story reflects that energy, too.”
Meanwhile see the full shoot here.
Images | farfetch