Olivier Rousteing’s New Avatar Hosts Balmain’s New Virtual Showroom

4 months ago 36
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Today, on his personal Instagram account, Olivier Rousteing announced a “virtual showroom” to house Balmain’s cruise collection. To the tune of Michael Jackson, the creative director posted several videos, including one that featured a cursor clicking into a digitally enhanced image of the brand’s flagship store in Paris floating on a body of water. Further into the video, we meet a series of leggy Balmain-clad silver avatars—one is dressed in a polka dot body-skimming dress, another is wearing a bubblegum pink tweed jacket. An avatar of the designer himself dressed in a double-breasted jacket appears on the screen to introduce the clothes and refers to the new offering as the “Zoom collection.” The Sims-style rendering of Rousteing is pretty uncanny. There’s even a clip featuring his rotating bust that has his chiseled jawline perfectly replicated.

Rousteing’s foray into this new cyber reality feels like a natural move for the designer. In the last few months, he has been an irrepressible presence on social media, sharing his personal dance routines—and when it comes to work, plenty of his sketches, too. Rousteing has also been one of the first designers to really thrive on TikTok. He has given followers an inside view of his design process, with a clone of himself who is able to drape dresses at hyper speed. Now Rousteing is bringing that playful and personal approach to Balmain, maybe others will follow.

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