Hedi Slimane will end his nearly four-year tenure as creative and image director of Saint Laurent Paris.
At the start of the year, rumors regarding a contractual disagreement between brand and designer suggested his exit. Mr. Slimane now joins his high-fashion colleagues who have stepped down from creative positions at the industry’s finest houses including Lanvin, Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Hedi heads out
Mr. Slimane joined the atelier in 1996, when it was still Yves Saint Laurent, as the director of menswear, but left that role in 2000 to work for Dior as its creative director of menswear.
In March 2012, Mr. Slimane returned to Saint Laurent as creative and image director.
During his second tenure, Mr. Slimane is credited with rebranding the house. He first revised its name from Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris, secondly embraced a rocker aesthetic which often saw music icons in campaigns and reestablished the brand’s couture collection.
Under Mr. Slimane’s direction, the house has seen a “holistic reform” that kept its modernity and status while respecting the vision of brand founder Yves Saint Laurent, who passed away in 2008.
In a statement regarding Mr. Slimane’s exit, Francesca Bellettini, president/CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, said, “I would like to thank Hedi Slimane very much for his vision in reforming such an iconic house as Yves Saint Laurent. The direction that has been taken over the last four years represents an incredible foundation for the brand to build on for its continuous success.”
Kering chairman/CEO François-Henri Pinault echoed her statement, saying, “What Yves Saint Laurent has achieved over the past four years represents a unique chapter in the history of the house. I am very grateful to Hedi Slimane, and the whole Yves Saint Laurent team, for having set the path that the house has successfully embraced, and which will grant longevity to this legendary brand.”
A successor has yet to be officially announced by Kering-owned Saint Laurent. Per the rumour mill, Versus Versace creative director Anthony Vaccarello is expected to take over, as soon as May 1.