This year’s Cannes Film Festival was served as promoter for many protests and movements. After the Women’s #TimesUp march that was led by Cate Blanchett, the next was the designer Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of Balmain.
This time, 16 black actresses came together around the French actress Aissa Maiga. It was an excellent place to make a statement and be heard about it. All of these women were dressed in Balmain. It was a way to call the attention to their new project named ‘My Profession is Not Black’.
The primary purpose of this project was to expose and elaborate the discrimination that a massive number of black women are facing, particularly in the French and American Film industry. This documentary is a compilation of various actresses’ experiences that each had in the movie industry. Maiga is the co-author who personally reached to Rousteing with the idea to dress this whole group. The outcome was seen on the famous steps on the Cannes Film Festival – the designer took the proposal and the chance.
All the women were dressed in custom fall 2018 pieces, and as Rousteing himself explained, he loved getting to know more about these women. That was all done through their stories they shared. What affected him was their honesty and humour from the one side and strength and resilience on the other side. What he found easy to comprehend was all the inappropriate comments and ignorance they have all faced, which sadly, was the racism issue that he had seen too many times. Being a first black man to hold the position of the brand’s creative director, Rousting felt honoured to this. He has spoken many times about the lack of diversity across the industry, and that is one of the reasons his “Balmain Army” is diverse and supports inclusivity and representation.
Dressing all these women for an excellent world-wide cause was a way for Rousting to personally express his support, as well as the brand’s support too.
This collaboration followed after the recent Balmain’s help into dressing Beyonce for Coachella performance.