My London: Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing

 (Illustration by Silvia Prada)
(Illustration by Silvia Prada)

Home is…

Paris. I’ve lived in my current place, a beautiful apartment, for the past six years. My home is my safe place, somewhere to relax, unwind and take time to be inspired.

Where do you stay in London?

Chiltern Firehouse, I love the cosiness they have created, the big fireplaces and sitting outside in the courtyard in the summer.

Which shops do you rely on?

Obviously the new Balmain store on Mount Street. Otherwise I always head straight to Harrods; I love to see the people in there, what they are wearing and buying. One of a Kind on Portobello has the best selection of vintage fashion — I have always loved the 1970s and 1980s and they never disappoint in having incredible pieces to inspire me.

What’s the best meal you’ve had here?

My favourite comfort food is mac ’n’ cheese, and the lobster version at 34 Mayfair is one of the absolute best. Always on my list when I am in London.

How does London style compare to Paris?

I think London is much more open to newness; Paris sometimes can get stuck in one thing, La Parisienne. London has such diverse style, from edgy punk to super London chic. There are so many great vintage shops in the city and you can see this reflected in the individual style of people on the street. Okay, here’s a tough one.

What does London do better than Paris?

In London there are always really cool exhibitions to visit, new exciting artists, whereas Paris is more about tradition. London is always looking to the future, showcasing amazing new talents. The Royal Academy is particularly good at this. I try to visit the Summer Exhibition every year, I love that anyone can submit work to be selected and included.

Which Londoner would you most like to dress in Balmain?

One of my favourites is Adele. I had the chance to spend some time with her in LA — I have always loved her music but then I fell in love with her completely. Of course Harry Styles. I think he is such an inspiration not only musically but style-wise, too. He is revolutionising the way people dress today and really breaking boundaries.

Where in London do you go to let your hair down?

I always have so much fun when I am in London, my go-to is always the Ladder Shed at Chiltern. They make the best cocktails and I always bump into friends in there. It feels like you are at a house party and you can really relax and enjoy the night.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

Now fashion week is done I enjoy spending time with my team looking at what we loved or what could have been changed. It is always a good moment start planning for next season.

Who is your professional hero?

Karl Lagerfeld, he really made a clear statement between luxury fashion and avant-garde. His style and uniform way of dressing always inspired me but most of all his talent. I am so excited about this year’s Met Gala [honouring Lagerfeld’s work]: they are always so fun but I am particularly looking forward to seeing the exhibition and his important work celebrated in this way.

What apps can you not live without?

Instagram for sure. It’s the platform where I can express myself so freely and I can communicate directly with the Balmain community.

Balmain is now open at 94 Mount Street, W1 (020 7491 8585)