The Designer-Rockstar: Get to Know Hedi Slimane
Much has been said about musicians being the faces of the finest fashion houses. Whether it’s Cher for Marc Jacobs, or Kanye West for Balmain, the connection between the worlds of music and fashion has been undeniable.
But there have also been designers who’ve built their own rockstar reputation. One of them is Hedi Slimane, who has had an illustrious career at the helm of Dior Homme, Saint Laurent, and now – Celine.
In our latest luxury review, get to know one of the industry’s leading figures, who has developed a solid cult following, while also courting controversy along the way.
A Star On The Rise at Dior Homme (As Creative Director from 2000-2007)
Slimane first became widely known as the Creative Director of Dior’s menswear division, ushering in a new age of masculinity at the Parisian label. During his tenure, he redefined the way we saw men’s fashion, with skinny black suits, ties, and trousers becoming a staple look throughout the 2000s.
Even Karl Lagerfeld was quoted to have lost weight just to fit in the latest Dior Homme collection: “There came this new line from Hedi Slimane at Dior that you needed to be slim to wear. It said: ‘You want this? Go back to your bones.’ And so I lost it all. I lost 88 pounds and never got them back,” the Chanel designer once said.
Reinventing Yves Saint Laurent (As Creative Director from 2012-2016)
On his next major stint, we then saw Slimane transform an iconic brand to something beyond recognition. In June 2012, just a month after his appointment, he changed Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris, a move that sparked outrage from many across the fashion world. Yet that’s not all.
From YSL’s revered eveningwear aesthetic, he paraded down runway looks that seemed more Hollywood Boulevard than Avenue Montaigne (appropriate, given that he also moved the Saint Laurent Paris atelier to Los Angeles). This included putting a more glamorous spin to pieces like plaid shirts, leather jackets, skinny jeans, and Chelsea boots – as well as popular numbers like leather duffle bags, bomber jackets, and sequined blazers.
Yet Slimane seemed to justify the controversy, not only taking back the brand to its musical roots, but also doubling the house’s revenue to about 800 million US dollars
Despite this, he ultimately parted ways with Saint Laurent in 2016, leaving behind a unique chapter in the history of the house.
A New Career at Céline (February 2018 – Present)
In a surprise return on the radar, Hedi Slimane was announced by LVMH Group as the new artistic and image of director of Céline. This came just months after beloved designer Phoebe Philo’s departure at the house, and numerous rumours of others like Stella McCartney design director Natasa Cagalj, and rising star Simon Porte Jacquemus replacing her.
With this new role, Slimane, now 49, will oversee all womenswear collections, as well as introducing couture, menswear, and fragrances to the brand. Here is yet another shake-up for one of French fashion’s biggest Maisons.
May 23, 2018 // 0 Comment
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