Beloved designer Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of the Balmain fashion brand, shared on Instagram Saturday that one year ago, he was injured after his fireplace exploded. (Warning: this story includes an image some may find graphic.)
"A YEAR AGO," the 36-year-old fashion designer began his caption on Saturday, Oct. 8. "I finally feel ready to share this. I’ve been hiding this for too long and it’s time for you to know. Exactly a year ago, the fireplace inside my house exploded. I woke up the next morning in Paris’ Hôpital Saint Louis. The talented staff at that famous hospital, which was dealing with an incredible number of COVID cases at that same time, took amazing care of me."
"I cannot thank them enough," he continued. "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. 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…"
In the image he shared on Saturday, Rousteing can be seen in a full body cast with severe burns covering his face.
"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 and at the same time hiding the scars with face masks, turtlenecks, long sleeves and even multiple rings on all my fingers through many interviews or photo shoots," he shared.
"And I truly realized that the power of social media is to reveal only what you want to show! Kind of allowing us to create our own special narrative that avoids what we do not wish to see or show: this is our new world."
Friends and fans of the designer took to the comment section to applaud him for his bravery, being so open and honest about the terrible incident.
"Sweet heart," wrote Karen Elson. "Such courage and bravery sharing your story. One thing I know to be true is that real beauty the kind that lights up a room is always imperfect and flawed in all the right ways. It’s the soul that shines brighter than anything else could."
Christina Milian wrote, "Happy you made it out safe. God bless you and 🙏🏽 for the courage to share this."
"I'm so glad you're safe," commented fellow fashion designer Donatella Versace.
Cardi B added, "God bless you."
In September, Rousteing made his first public appearance in almost a year onstage at the Balmain Festival V02 womenswear spring/summer ready-to-wear show as part of Paris Fashion Week.
"Now, a year later — healed, happy and healthy," he continued in his caption on Saturday. "I realize how truly blessed I am and I thank GOD everyday of my life. My last show was about the celebration of healing over pain and 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."
Rousteing ended his caption thanking the first responders who helped him with his harrowing recovery, and reminding his fans and followers to never give up.
"Today, I feel so free, so good and so lucky," he said. "I’m beginning a new chapter with a smile on my face and a heart full of gratitude. To the doctors and nurses at Saint Louis, and to all those who helped me during this long recovery and kept my secret: a profound thank-you. I love you.
"GOD BLESS YOU ALL," he wrote, adding, "and again never never give up! There is always the sun after the storm."