Rihanna and Olivier Rousteing, Balmain's Creative Director, have been friends for almost two years now. The duo has teamed up on a number of projects, including a Balmain campaign, a W Magazine spread costarring Iman and Naomi Campbell, and more Instagram photos than we can count.
Over the weekend, Olivier sat down with Alexa Chung, and the pair discussed how he and Rihanna first became friends, the advice she's given him, and why he views her as an icon. Olivier explains one of the reasons he truly admires Rihanna is because—like Prince, David Bowie, Madonna, and Michael Jackson—she can mix menswear and womenswear, which he says is "great for fashion."
The upheaval of gender norms in dressing is something we've seen more and more of recently—from Jaden Smith's newfound love of Topshop dresses to the rise of skirt-pants hybrids to even Kanye West's reason for wearing a kilt during the Watch The Throne tour years ago. The truth is, seeing menswear and womenswear mixed on our most popular pop stars isn't just good for fashion, it propels the world further into wide acceptance of gender fluidity, and that is a very cool thing.
You can watch their full discussion, which includes the common quality found in all of the ladies of the Balmain Army, why he says women are more powerful than men, and more, above!