Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing revealed he was injured in a fireplace explosion at his home last year and kept his burns hidden while he recovered.
The 36-year-old shared the news on Instagram Sunday, saying he was “finally ready to share” the story of the accident.
“I’ve been hiding this for too long and it’s time for you to know,” he wrote, alongside a photo of himself with bandages covering burns on his head and upper body.
The French designer said he was treated at Paris’ Hôpital Saint Louis and thanked the “talented” hospital staff, who were “dealing with an incredible number of COVID cases at that same time” and “took amazing care of [him].”
Rousteing decided to recover privately, writing that he kept his scars hidden with face masks, clothing and “multiple rings” on every finger during “many interviews and [photoshoots].”
“I did everything to hide this story from as many people as possible and trying to keep the secret with my teams and friends for too long,” he wrote. “To be honest I am not really sure why I was so ashamed, maybe this obsession with perfection that fashion is known for and my own insecurities.”
While hiding his burns from followers, the designer said he was able to “truly realize the power of social media” which allows us to “create our own special narrative that avoids what we do not wish to see or show.”
Rousteing, who became Balmain’s youngest and first black creative director at 24, said he focused on his collections while he healed.
“As I recovered, I just worked days and night to forget and creating all my collections, trying to keep the world dreaming with my collections,” he wrote.
Now, a year later, the designer said he is “healed, happy and healthy.”
“My last show was about the celebration of healing over pain,” added Rousteing, who made his first public appearance in a year at the Balmain ready-to-wear show at Paris Fashion Week this September, where he celebrated 10 years at the helm of the French luxury label.
“I thank all the models the productions my team the models my Balmain family, my friends that came and supported not only my 10 years of Balmain but my rebirth,” he continued. “Today, I feel so free, so good and so lucky. I’m beginning a new chapter with a smile on my face and a heart full of gratitude.”
Rousteing’s comment section was filled with an outpouring of love and support from designers, models and fashion industry staples, including Donatella Versace, Lily Aldridge, Cindy Crawford, and the Editor in Chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful.
Kim Kardashian commented “🙏🏼 I love you,” while Cardi B added, “God bless you 🙏🏽.”
The designer’s brands have long been loved by celebrities, with famous fans ranging from the Kardashians to Jennifer Lopez and Cara Delevigne.