Hedi Slimane is stepping down after his four-year stint at Saint Laurent, which proved to be very successful for the fashion house.
It’s the end of an era at Saint Laurent! Creative and image director, Hedi Slimane, has officially stepped down. While the designer was integral in reinventing the Saint Laurent brand with his distinct vision, rumors have been swirling for months regarding his departure. While at the helm of Saint Laurent he infused an edgy, rock ‘n’ roll vibe into every element of the collections, from the campaigns to the clothing and the accessories, and brought his penchant for menswear-inspired pieces into the line. Although originally from France, the designer relocated to LA in 2008 often drew inspiration from the California music scene. According to our sister publication, WWD, the designer’s contract with the fashion house expired on March 31 and brought to an end a very successful four-year-stint. In fact, Saint Laurent is currently one of the fastest-growing fashion houses in Europe.
“What Yves Saint Laurent has achieved over the past four years represents a unique chapter in the history of the house,” François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, said in a joint statement with Saint Laurent. “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,” WWD, reported. YSL chief executive Francesca Bellettini added: “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.”
His successor will begin on May 1, in time for the Spring 2017 shows in Paris come fall. Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello, 33, was expected to succeed Hedi, however, WWD reported that Anthony and Saint Lauren have failed to reach an agreement. When appointed, he would become the fourth ready-to-wear designer at YSL. Former successors include Alber Elbaz and Tom Ford.
Hedi was formerly at the helm of the fashion house and resigned in 2000 and went on to Dior. He returned to Saint Laurent in 2012, where he was given total creative responsibility and even operated out of LA.
The fashion scheme is certainly changing, and it is evident now more than ever before. Hedi’s exit comes as many major designers have vacated their posts at top fashion houses, which includes Raf Simons at Dior and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. The grueling schedules, creative differences and demands from the corporate side can often frustrate designers.