French designer Olivier Rousteing burst into the fashion consciousness at the age of 25. Although it does not sound like much, he was one of the youngest ever designers to lead a major French brand, Balmain.

Rousteing, who claimed to love Kris Jenner like a mother, identified as mixed-race his entire life, knowing full well that the loving couple he knew as his parents had not birthed him.

However, for the fashion mogul, fashion had always been about offering people a way to express their identity, but he had yet to find his own.

Eventually, he realized the hypocrisy of it all, not all on his own, and put in the work to trace his origins under the guise of a documentary. For his documentary, Wonder Boy, Rousting teamed up with director slash producer Anissa Bonnefont to uncover his past. 

Read the full article to know about Bordeaux native's parents, upbringing with family, professional ventures, and critical life events—including the 2022 home's fireplace explosion that burned parts of his body and left him "scared, anxious, depressed and alone." His left eye had a severe injury that left him unable to see out of it. 

What happened to Olivier Rousteing in 2020?

Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing was left with severe burns across his body from a fireplace explosion that took place at his home on 23 October 2020. That particular day, he was celebrating the success of his recent runway, but the dinner party took an unexpected turn when the gas fireplace exploded, leaving him with burns across his body.   

Later, after full recovery, he gave his first account of the event to British Vogue and explained how the dreadful accident transformed his life forever. 

"The entire front of my body from forehead to feet was engulfed in flames. Terrified, I ran down and jumped into the basement pool," he shared with British Vogue. "But even after extinguishing the flames, I could not stop the burning sensation, so my friends rushed me to the shower and tried to cool my burning skin with cold water. It didn’t work. In only a few seconds, everything in my life had radically changed."

He added, "The worst part? The scratching. An important part of the team’s job was to scrape my raw skin since to avoid scarring, all scabs had to be removed. I’m pretty sure you can imagine how painful that was. I made the choice early on to avoid morphine and to make it through my recovery process unmedicated – although, to be honest, I considered changing that decision almost daily."

His friends then took him to the nearby Hospital in Saint Louis as he suffered from unbearable pain. He spent the recovery days in the hospital hoping for the end of the burns pain before he was discharged for home treatment.

"As friendly, caring, and skilled as the staff may have been, there was nothing they could do to lessen my misery. Every drop of the lukewarm water that hit my burnt and peeled body was absolute torture. In fact, anything that touched me – the hospital gown, the soap, the towel – hurt so much that it took all my concentration not to cry or scream," Rousteing shared.

He would also choose not to disclose the incident to anybody except a close circle of friends. Even his family members were only informed about the incident only after some months. He couldn't muster up the courage to tell the whole world about his situation and his depression added to his misery. 

And the covid lockdown was a perfect cover for her to continue the deception. He also portrayed a sound life on social media through the help of makeup, covered clothes, "old images, crops, and filters." Even though his burned skin was recovering, it had changed color to white due to lack of melanin and was easily distinguishable from her unburnt darker skin.  

Later, he finally accepted his reality and became open to sharing about the incident when he began to work on his projects in fashion and beauty, which by their virtue demanded openness, creativity, and transparency. 

Who is Olivier Rousteing's partner?

Rousteing is gay and currently single. He is someone who has been always vocal about his relationships and dating status. In September 2022, he wrote in the columns of Release that he was not after true love, “I’m not really looking to be. I haven’t been in a relationship for about fifteen years… I’m really a loner and I like loneliness.“ 

Previously, he had a short affair with Mike Day in 2019. 

Adopted Olivier Routeing's journey to find his birth mother

While there was enough known about his past for the public to draw a tentative image, there were many blanks in his story. 

For instance, it was public knowledge that he was adopted as a baby by a French couple in Bordeaux when he was five months old. His appearance had led him to believe that he came from a mixed-race parentage. 

That introduction worked for the press to draw a picture of the man, but on his own, he struggled with rejection.

Why did a mother leave a seven-day-old baby at the orphanage?

Olivier Rousteing's struggle with rejection

The wunderkind designer struggled with the question whilst lacking the courage to seek out answers. Rousteing did not want to be rejected again. 

Massimo Piombini, the chief executive of Balman, once told The New York Times,

This guy — mixed race, gay and orphan — he didn’t start out at zero. He started at minus 10.

During the course of filming, Rousting found out that his mother was still in France. However, there were laws in place that withheld his mother's real identity. 

Olivier Rousteing Wrote a Letter to His Birth Mother

He was offered a chance to write a letter to her, though. The social workers would have delivered the letter to her. But his fear of rejection was rooted deep, and he had not yet decided to pen down his questions. 

He also found out that his mother was a Somalian and his father was Ethiopian, making him "African-African." The revelation upended the mixed-race identity he had built over the years. 

Even so, he does not want pity from those who watch Wonder Boy. Instead, he told the publication,

I want people to see this as a movie about a fighter who faced the world. There is a real crisis of identity today, it’s hard to be yourself. But maybe the people who see it will understand me more.

As for his adoptive parents, he knew for a fact that they loved him from day one. During an interview with Vogue Australia, he introduced his father as Bruno-Jean and his mother as Lydia. 

He also revealed that his adoptive mother had cancer when she was 15 and had to have her ovaries removed. His father was with her for the entire battle. 

When Lydia said to her would-be husband that she could not bear him a child, he replied, "Let's adopt a baby." 

And the rest, as they say, is history.

What is Olivier Rousteing's Net Worth?

According to The Sun, Olivier Rousteing's estimated net worth is $2 million.