Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing reveals burn scars one year after fireplace malfunction

The 36-year-old fashion designer says he is “healed, happy and healthy” following a year of hiding his injuries due to insecurity

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One year ago, the fireplace inside French designer Olivier Rousteing’s house exploded, leaving him hospitalized with burns across his body which he revealed publicly for the first time on Saturday via Instagram.

Now, after a year of physical and mental healing aided by the support of close friends and family members, the Balmain creative director said he is finally comfortable divulging the traumatic experience to the world.

“I finally feel ready to share this,” Rousteing wrote in the caption of a photo showing his condition shortly following the accident. The photo showed his entire body wrapped in bandages with only his face exposed. 

“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,” Rousteing added.

He explained that his reluctance to publicize his experience was in part due to personal insecurities and apprehension about the potential response from the fashion world, which is notorious for shunning aspects of one’s body that do not live up to a predetermined set of beauty standards.

“To be honest I am not really sure why I was so ashamed , maybe this obsession with perfection that fashion is known for and my own insecurities…” Rousteing said.

Rousteing said he spent the past year of recovery working around the clock to “forget” what happened, immersing himself further within his work and “trying to keep the world dreaming” with his designs.

“At the same time,” he continued, he was “hiding the scars with face masks, turtlenecks, long sleeves and even multiple rings on all my fingers” through interviews and photoshoots. 

“I truly realized that the power of social media is to reveal only what you want to show,” Rousteing said, adding that the medium allows us to “create our own special narrative.”

Claiming the narrative of his experience on his own terms, Rousteing said he is healed, in good spirits and good health after the year of recovery.

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 01: Olivier Rousteing attends the Isabel Marant Womenswear Spring/Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 01, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

“I realize how truly blessed I am and I thank GOD everyday of my life..” he said. “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.”

Rousteing thanked the staff at Paris’ Hôpital Saint Louis who he said took “amazing” care of him throughout his recovery process.

“To the doctors and nurses at Saint Louis, and to all those who helped me during this long recovery and kept my secret : a profound thank-you. I love you,” he said. “GOD BLESS YOU ALL ♥️ and again never never give up ! There is always the sun after the storm .”

Several high-profile figures from across fashion and entertainment industries responded to Rousteing’s post with messages of support and empowerment.

“I’m so glad you’re safe 🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️,” wrote Italian fashion designer and entrepeneur Donatella Versace.

“🙏🏻 I love you,” wrote influencer and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian.

Hip Hop producer Swizz Beats wrote: “Wow sending blessings and love 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽,” 

“God bless you 🙏🏽,” wrote rapper Cardi B.

French actor Omar Sy wrote: “Sending you many blessings. Such example of resilience dignity and courage 🙏🏿.”

Other stars including Iman, Lenny Kravitz, Jerry Lorenzo,Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner, La La Anthony, Larsa Pippen, Cindy Crawford and more joined the outpouring of support.

On Sunday, Rousteing showcased his latest Balmain collection, inspired by his “rebirth” following the mishap and the feeling of “freedom” he experienced when his bandages were removed.

The 36-year-old celebrated his 10th year with the luxury fashion house in 2021, getting his start as its creative director in 2011 at just 25 years old.

Rousteing was the subject of a 2019 Netflix documentary, “Wonder Boy,” which gave an intimate look into his life and career while following his journey to find his biological mother.

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