Rumours already began circulating last month during fashion Week that YSL’s (now branded Saint Laurent) head designer and creative director Hedi Slimane was leaving.
A similar buzz also occurred last year during the exit of Dior’s Raf Simmons. Both designers were a fave of mine, with their collections featuring every season in my top faves list.
Hedi Slimane joined YSL in 2012, and since joining he has really amped up the brand, while staying true to its style and vision of rebellious chic but adding a touch of edgy street youth and rock n’ roll.
Slimane is French, Italian and Tunisian as his bio states. He actually started working for YSL in fashion marketing then as a designer. He left YSL in 2000, and worked briefly at Dior then he re-joined YSL as creative director in 2012. He brought back the skinny look in fashion for menswear, with sleek, refined and slender silhouettes in suits and casual wear. His love for rock ‘n roll, contemporary music scenes and urban street-wear eventually led him having his atelier in Los Angeles which has served as a big inspiration for his collection over the past 4 years.
His last collection brought about the amazing red heart fur coat, a direct ode to the original YSL infamous green fur coat that bespoke rebelliousness and non-conformity and redefining high fashion with trashy chic and introducing a new style of feminine. I was able to attend the YSL exhibition in Paris at the original atelier of the old YSL, and see first-hand how he daringly defined a new style era of feminine that was bold and daring, yet still true to the reality of everyday life and all the major social and political changes occurring during the post-war eras.
His skinny silhouettes for mensear also inspired fashion Kaiser, Karl Lagerfeld to lose weight. Slimane, who is good friends with Lagerfeld, had been the force behind the Karl’s weight loss so he could fit into his style of clothes.
Slimane did come under fire for one of his men’s collections when his model’s on the runway were way too skinny, and looked fatally near to going on an overdose of sorts.
Anyway, his style and collections are awesome and he has taken the YSL brand into the next generation. His work has made YSL one of the most wanted and coolest brands today, and has brought revenues up to over a billion US$ in sales. A rare feat for a designer brand in today’s era.
It’s rumoured Anthony Vacarello will take his place. Vacarello’s style is pretty good and I saw his brand and cute collection 2 years ago in 2014. (click here to see more on 2014 faves)
I’ll miss the fab glamour and don’t-give-a-sh*t-chic from Slimane. Here’s looking to what he and YSL has next is store for the world.