As a young child, he already knew fashion would influence every aspect of his life. He tried to find the knowledge necessary to carry out his art through the academic route, at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre, in Belgium. But natural talent must find freedom, and one year later, the artist dropped out of school. We are talking about Olivier Theyskens.
Instead of allowing school to unleash or capture his creativity, Theyskens found refuge and success in his first collection, at the tender age of 19. Since then, the “Golden Belgian”, as he is often referred to, reflects, in his designs, the feeling of discovering Brussels for the first time, the city where he was born in 1977.
Olivier Theyskens, with models Chanel Iman, and Karlie Kloss.
Every piece in his collections, regardless of the season, always carries a dose of vintage, nostalgia, an enigmatic air, a little bit of noir, romance and a vigorous modern femininity. Theyskens started out working exclusively in his own collections, until 2002, when Rochas commissioned him to create its prêt-à-porter line. The following year, he was appointed Creative Director of the French label. Broader recognition from the industry came in 2006, when the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) honored him with the Best International Designer award. That same year, he was released from Rochas and, immediately, Maison Nina Ricci hired him: he remained there until 2009.
A new chapter in the designer’s life began with a capsule collection named Theyskens’ Theory for Andrew Rosen. In the last years, every one of his proposals on the catwalks has shown a passion for couture craftsmanship, together with a pragmatic and versatile sense of what’s “wearable”. He continues to develop his own line, simultaneously combining his duties as director of Theory. At 36, the designer’s pieces are part of the wardrobes of the most elegant fashionistas: celebrities of the highest level wear his designs, and his name is an essential part of the contemporary fashion universe. ■