After months of circulating rumour, Saint Laurent has just confirmed the exit of Hedi Slimane.
Kering, the luxury group that owns Saint Laurent, revealed in a joint statement late Thursday that the separation comes at the end of a “four-year mission, which has led to the complete repositioning of the brand.”
Said Kering CEO and chairman Francois-Henri Pinault: “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.”
During his four-year tenure as Saint Laurent's creative and image director, Slimane made a name for himself as a maverick of sorts for menswear. WWD calls Slimane an “exacting image maker” who took total control over Saint Laurent’s collections, ad campaigns, store design and communications strategy, linking the brand name with his personal penchant for retro, indie-rock inspired fashion and laid back California vibes.
Slimane also made the news when he dropped the “Yves” in Yves Saint Laurent in 2012, and relocated the design studio to Los Angeles. His controlling ways however, brought the brand back into the spotlight and last February, Fashionista reported that Saint Laurent doubled its business since employing the French designer.
Slimane’s last collection with Saint Laurent was showcased during Paris Fashion Week, following an extravaganza he staged for his autumn/winter 2016 men’s show in Los Angeles on February 10, the “Saint Laurent at the Palladium” which attracted the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.
Already, talk is of who will step into Slimane’s shoes, with Anthony Vaccarello being the likely successor, according to WWD. A Belgian designer, Vaccarello was most recently recruited by Donatella Versace to reboot the Versus brand and is known for his racy, fast-fashion styles.