BOTTOMS UP: In his latest cheeky move, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing appears nude on the cover of the March issue of French magazine Têtu, which he also guest edited. “It was my idea,” he told WWD, explaining that shedding clothes was a gesture of honesty and representative of a free-spirited, open approach that has won him nearly a million followers on Instagram. “I wanted to show that being naked is one of the most chic things. It’s an expression of a concept.”

Rousteing said he also wished to convey that his approach to fashion goes beyond clothes to a broader vision of pop culture, diversity and freedom of expression. Wearing only his treasured friendship bracelets, Rousteing parked his tush on the edge of a metal stool for photographers André Atangana and François Rousseau, the latter responsible for the popular soccer-stud calendars known as “Les Dieux du stade.”

For the 148-page issue, due on French newsstands Wednesday, Rousteing corralled some of his famous friends for interviews, including reality star Kim Kardashian, racing champion Lewis Hamilton and fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco, along with DJ Brodinski and rugby player Frédéric Michalak. The designer noted that Kardashian opens up about her youth and “shows her point of view as a woman. It was important to show the personality of the people.”

Rousteing also styled a 12-page series with Vivanco showing models in states of dress and undress entitled “A Sexy Night Out With The Balmain Army.”

Advertisers in the issue — one of two annually devoted to fashion — include Kenzo, Dior Homme, Comme des Garçons, Paul & Joe, Fred Perry and Vicomte A. A general-interest gay magazine, Têtu’s paid circulation is 28,275 copies. Rousteing said he read the title a lot when he was younger and “it helps a lot of people in France understand what they’re about.”