French fashion designer, Olivier Rousteing, is making headlines with his newest collaboration with Nike, titled Nike Lab x Olivier Rousteing: Football Nouveau Collection. Rousteing was named creative director for Parisian fashion house, Balmain in 2011 and he has been a force to contend with since. This time last year it was announced that he would collaborate with H&M, a move which created their fastest selling collaboration yet. This collaboration with Nike, however, marks his first collaboration outside of Balmain.
This summer, Rousteing has turned his attention to ‘The Beautiful Game’, aka Football (or Soccer for those readers based in the US). As a designer renowned for his sensuous form-fitting style, it may come as a surprise that football boots are his new inspiration. Yet he says that he has been a lifelong fan of the sport and used to play himself. This new collaboration sees him luring the world of sport into his world of high fashion in a way that maintains absolute functionality. The designer commented “Fashion is usually about the catwalk and the glamour, but with Nike it was about performance and the athletes”.
By all accounts, he took the design brief very seriously in terms of functionality. Jarrett Reynolds, NikeLab Senior Apparel Design Director reported how he constantly posed the question: “Would a football player really wear that?” It is in this way that the collection has remained true to the sports element while the design features echo Rousteing’s style. The designer says what he loves “…about this collection is that we are integrating the iconic style of football into sports style”.
And what does that style look like? Well, it looks like a lot of black with many gold trims, metallic gold zippers, gold embroidery coupled with the odd high gloss finish. Although Rousteing was keen to stamp his mark on the collection, he was equally aware of the need for compromise in this collaboration. He has conceded that his vision would have seen “gold and embroidery everywhere”, also noting that he loves “va-va-vroom”. He explained his colour choices as follows: “Black is sleek and timeless and the gold is about victory and winning.” It sure looks like a winning combination to us!
And anyway, who doesn’t love a little va-va-vroom? Cristiano Ronaldo surely does. The Portuguese star is leading the collection’s ad campaign in a range of opulently styled photographs shot by Nick Knight and styled by Robbie Spencer from Dazed Magazine. The footballer is seen posing with heavily gold gilded French furniture which oozes extravagance. Yet, in this setting, the apparel holds its own in a robust way. This is the fine line that Rousteing has tread successfully in this collection.
As the designer says, the collection is “on the glamourous side but wearable, so even people not into sport can find things they love”. He was pleased to “find the right shape” for the collection with Nike because we “want to feel sexy, but still feel comfortable and able to move.” If Ronaldo’s shoot is anything to go by, we would certainly agree that Rousteing has achieved his goal.