The story behind Balmain’s “OWN WHO YOU ARE” t-shirt #SS20

The story behind Balmain’s “OWN WHO YOU ARE” t-shirt #SS20

As creative director, Olivier Rousteing has spent almost a decade at Balmain showing off his extremism on aesthetic attraction.
The French fashion designer took us on a huge throwback trip to the late 90’s with a breathtaking collection on Friday September 27, 2019 during Paris fashion week.

One special t-shirt got the world’s attention; At first some referred “Own who you are” slogan to Olivier being openly gay but here’s the truth and story behind it.

As an adopted kid, Olivier assumed to descend from a mixed race but wasn’t ready to investigate it earlier. What mattered more than his roots is the reason why his mom left him.

In 2017, a documentary shooting took place to archive his journey of self-discovery from the beginning alongside with a psychologist/social worker. All genuine and real, Anissa Bonnefont shot a 160 hours film to edit it in less than two.
With the camera around home, atelier and governmental issues, we’ll see Olivier always surrounded by people yet so lonely. The documentary aims to allow Olivier’s origin’s exposure tackling the idea of identity, blackness and race in today’s world far from fashion’s glitz and glamour. Shout out to his impressive courage and self-acceptance here.

Recently in 2019, Olivier’s possible mixed-race belief got destroyed by the truth of carrying a Somali maternal side with an Ethiopian father, what confirms him being 100% African. Weeping uncontrollably with snot on his face, he decides to understand and forgive.
A heartwarming and breaking master scene will expose the fragile raw existence of humans no matter how much runways shape it carefully.

“It’s discombobulating in your 30s that the myths you told yourself your entire life, even if you knew you had made them up, were all wrong” says Rousteing.
He adds “I don’t want anyone to have pity for me. I want people to see this as a movie about a fighter who faced the world. There’s a real crisis of identity today, it’s hard to be yourself. But maybe the people who see it will understand me more”.

Fashion is an important tool for everyone to express their identity so Balmain’s designer needed to understand his own. Now that he does, he’ll be the first to support people and push them outside the comfort zone to attain what he thinks he did; That’s why he states: “Own who you are”.
Not to forget mentioning Olivier’s previous continuous effort to shed a light on adoption issues based on his personal experience.

A day after the show, the premiere of “wonder boy” documentary aired in Paris. It will soon be on TV Canal Plus for one night – 16th of October – and later on in theaters- November 2019.



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