12 months ago, celebrity fashion designer Olivier Rousteing was involved in a freak accident.

Olivier Rousteing is one of the biggest names in fashion.

In 2011, at just 25 years old, he was named the creative director of French luxury fashion house Balmain, making him the youngest designer to be appointed a role of that calibre since Yves Saint Laurent at Dior in 1957.

In the decade since, Balmain's revenue has soared and Rousteing has become one of the most in-demand designers in the world. 

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His gowns have become instantly recognisable - known for their intricate beaded detailing and embellishment, the designs are regularly worn by his famous friends, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and the Kardashians. 


Rousteing has also become quite the celebrity himself - as one of the first creative directors to focus on using social media to drive brand awareness, he's helped grow Balmain's Instagram to 11 million followers, and his own account to a cool seven million.

In October, Rousteing celebrated a decade at the helm of Balmain during Paris Fashion Week. 

The glamorous anniversary show featured a performance by Doja Cat, runway appearances from supermodels Naomi Campbell and Carla Bruni, and a voiceover celebrating his work by Beyoncé.

Olivier Rousteing alongside models at the Balmain Spring/Summer 2022 show. Image: Getty. 


In addition to his signature embellished gowns, the collection included various bandage-style dresses. 

For Rousteing, those pieces represented a traumatic event he experienced 12 months prior. And it's something he's chosen to keep private until now, despite posting regularly on his social accounts.

The Balmain Spring/Summer 2022 show. Image: Getty. 

The Balmain Spring/Summer 2022 show. Image: Getty. 


Just over a week after the show, Rousteing, 36, shared a photo of himself, sitting on his couch, badly burned and wrapped in bandages from his head to his torso.

In his caption, he spoke about a freak accident that occurred in his Paris home in October 2020 for the first time. 

"I finally feel ready to share this. I’ve been hiding this for too long and it’s time for you to know. Exactly a year ago, the fireplace inside my house exploded," he wrote.

"I woke up the next morning in Paris’ Hôpital Saint Louis. The talented staff at that famous hospital, which was dealing with an incredible number of COVID cases at that same time took amazing care of me. I cannot thank them enough.

"I did everything to hide this story from as many people as possible and trying to keep the secret with my teams and friends for too long."


The designer explained that hiding the accident possibly stemmed from "this obsession with perfection that fashion is known for", detailing how he covered the scars with face masks, long-sleeved garments, turtlenecks and jewellery.

"To be honest, I'm not sure why I was so ashamed," he wrote of his choice, sharing that he kept busy during his recovery by delving into his work in an effort to "keep the world dreaming with my collections."

He went on to thank his team and family for their support, "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."

Following the announcement, Rousteing received an outpouring of love from his A-list friends, including Kim Kardashian and Cardi B, and peers Donatella Versace and Kim Jones.

"I’m so glad you're safe," Donatella Versace wrote.

Feature image: Instagram/@olivier_rousteing

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