It’s impossible now to think about Olivier Rousteing and Balmain without automatically thinking about his stunning #BalmainArmy filled with Instagram’s most “liked” models, the likes of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. Youth, glamour, and a certain unattainable beauty standard are at the center of Balmain’s high-fashion courtship of the zeitgeist’s most recognizable faces, but the announcement of new recruits to Rousteing’s army has stunned some in the industry. In a move that feels too brilliant for its own good, the designer posed in a new Balmain campaign alongside 90s supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer.
We’re so happy to see the Freedom 90 squad back and more beautiful than ever. If you didn’t know that the concept of the #supermodelsquad predated the hashtag, you do now! In Fall/Winter 1991, Gianni Versace\’s groundbreaking runway presentation showcased the collection that would transition the fashion industry away from the hyperbolic 80s and into a new era of powerful women wearing equally powerful, glamorous clothes. To get his point across effectively, Versace cast supermodels Crawford, Campbell, Schiffer, and many other famous names to dance down the runway to George Michael\’s song Freedom 90, and these same faces would also appear in the music video for the track. While this appears to be a case of history repeating itself, Rousteing cast Crawford, Campbell, and Schiffer in his latest campaign to showcase the brand’s return to its roots. In doing so, he revives a bit of lost fashion history and pays homage to designers who have worked hard for the same sensual design aesthetic, like Versace before him.
In a caption on Instagram for an image depicting Rousteing with Campbell, the designer declared, “U made me love FASHION yesterday, U make me love FASHION today, and U’re going to make me Love FASHION in the FUTURE.” Translation: Rousteing’s homage to the beautiful women who paved the way for the Jenners and Hadids of this world comes from a place of sincere appreciation and long-time admiration.