Balmain Designer Thinks Zara’s Interpretation Of Zalmain Is “Genius”

Last month, The New York Times alerted us to a shift in parlance among Zara shoppers — substituting “Zalenciaga” for Balenciaga-like garments, “Zéline” for Céline-esque silhouettes, and so on. As it turns out, Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, is a Zalmain enthusiast. In a recent conversation with The Independent, he remarked, “I think it was Coco Chanel who said if you’re original, be ready to be copied,” before noting his love for “a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Céline and Proenza [Schouler]! I think that’s genius. It’s even better than what I do!”
He cited Zara’s speed, styling, and the company’s “great sense of…how to pick up what they have to pick up from designers…[W]hen I did my Miami collection and we did the black and white checks, I knew they would be in Zara and H&M. But they did it in a clever way — they mixed a Céline shape with my Balmain print!” (Presenting: Zélmain!) After all, at 28 years old, Rousteing realizes “not everyone can afford a thousand-dollar jacket." And, that referring to Zara’s wares by replacing the first letter of the designer label’s name with a Z is moderately amusing. (The Independent)

More from Designers

R29 Original Series