Olivier Theyskens

Olivier Theyskens

Outgoing Artistic Director, Theory

With experience at Rochas and Nina Ricci, he brought a high-fashion flair to the contemporary American label.

Belgium Designers 2013 BoF 500 2013

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With experience at Rochas and Nina Ricci, he brought a high-fashion flair to the contemporary American label.

Olivier Theyskens's live mosaic

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Biography

A bold and intriguing design talent, in his comparatively short career Olivier Theyskens has headed two Parisian fashion houses and founded and closed his own label. Most recently he was the creative director of Theory, having initially launched a capsule collection entitled Theysken’s Theory with the contemporary label, founded by Andrew Rosen and now owned by Fast Retailing.

Theyskens told Out of Order magazine that as a child he loved playing with clothes and fabrics. “I loved beautiful things, beautiful clothes. I loved to dress in costumes. I remember, at the time, saying I wanted to be a girl because I loved princesses. I loved to look at the female characters of any movies. I was very attracted by that. I always felt women could incarnate a really fascinating mystery for me. From Hollywood to the 1980s military hero girls, I always saw girls as these amazing figures. I always admired these figures.”

Theyskens attended the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre to study fashion design, but dropped out in 1997 to start his own label. His first collections were contemporaneously described as gothic extravaganzas, and were created from bed sheets that his grandmother gave to him. Without sufficient financial support, he was forced to close his label.

Theyskens then began creating stage costumes for the Théâtre de la Monnaie. He was brought to the wider public’s attention when, in 1998, Madonna wore one of his dresses to the Academy Awards.

Career

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