Hedi Slimane

Born: Paris, France, 1968

As a boy Hedi Slimane illustrated his growing talents mastering photography at a young age and designing and creating his own clothes by sixteen. Enthused by the world of art, Slimane went on to study History of Art at the Ecole du Louvre.

After graduating in 1992, he began working with fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart. Together with Picart, Slimane worked on an exhibition celebrating the centenary of Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram.

Slimane left Picard in 1995 and was appointed menswear director at Yves Saint Laurent the following year. His strong style continued to grow mixing classic menswear styles with a modern twist. Two years later Slimane was named the men’s artistic director. On his first show Yves Saint Laurent himself sat front row.

In January 2000 Slimane presented the Black Tie collection. Here he introduced the new skinny silhouette that featured razor sharp tailoring with narrow lines and thin waists. Following this Slimane left YSL. Declining the creative director job at Jil Sander, Slimane accepted a role working on Christian Dior’s menswear. Here he began to fully push his new skinny silhouette.

As Slimane adopted his new style Karl Lagerfeld noticed. This initiated Lagerfeld’s huge weight loss as he pursued to wear Slimane’s clothes. After he lost the weight Lagerfeld wore Slimane’s designs loyally.

In 2001 Slimane took creative direction for the launch of Dior Homme’s first fragrance. Working with Richard Avedon on the advertising campaign, Slimane ensured the fragrance took on the new vision he had created for the Dior man.

Slimane was awarded the CFDA’s International Designer of the Year in 2002. This marked the first menswear designer to win the accolade.

In 2006 Slimane followed his interests in photography launching his online photographic blog, The Diary, featuring some of the worlds biggest music stars and unknown stylish people.

That same year Slimane left Dior Homme having decided not to renew his contract with the company. They instead offered to help him with his own personal line; however, Slimane remained with complete creative control over his label.

In March 2012 Slimane was appointed Creative Director at Yves Saint Laurent. The appointment required Slimane to create his first womenswear collection.

Hedi Slimane uses his affinity for art and music to inspire his designs. Through reinvigorating the Christian Dior men’s line, Slimane influenced the fashion world with his skinny silhouette. His clothes have a reputation of sartorial excellence which he combines with a minimalist aesthetic.

In April 2016, Hedi Slimane stepped down as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, and Anthony Vaccarello took over the role. In January 2018, LVMH announced that Hedi Slimane would become the creative director of Céline. Under his direction, the brand was rebranded as “Celine” without the French accent.

In April 2018, Slimane won a lawsuit against Kering S.A., where he was awarded over 8 million euros after a dispute over his non-compete clause payment. In January 2019, Slimane presented his first standalone menswear show for Celine.

On June 26, 2022, Slimane showcased his spring/summer 2023 collection for Celine at the Palais de Tokyo, the same location where he had presented his autumn/winter collection for Dior Homme two decades earlier. The show paid tribute to his “menswear reform” with a fusion of Celine’s luxury craftsmanship and rebellious rock and roll sensibility.

Aside from his fashion career, Hedi Slimane has a significant presence in the art and photography world. He has worked on various photography projects, documenting scenes from Berlin, London, and California. Slimane has curated art exhibitions and collaborated with musicians for his installations. He also created photographic spreads for magazines like French Vogue, VMAN, and Purple, and is known for his photography blog, Hedi Slimane Diary.

Additionally, Slimane designed a cover for Garage magazine and has collaborated with renowned artists like Damien Hirst in his work. His influence extends beyond the fashion industry, and he is also recognized as a photographer for Hero magazine.

Hedi Slimane Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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