Hedi Slimane Is Leaving Saint Laurent

Those rumours are true

SS13: Rockstar debut
01 Apr 2016

SS13: Rockstar debut

The iconic Le Smoking look gets a rock-chic update in Slimane’s debut collection

PF13: Youth quake
01 Apr 2016

PF13: Youth quake

Youth culture is a core influence for Slimane, so it was no surprise when he tapped American singer Sky Ferreira for the brand’s Pre-Fall 2013 lookbook

FW13: West coast
01 Apr 2016

FW13: West coast

Californian grunge becomes one of Slimane’s favourite references throughout his tenure at Saint Laurent

SS14: Scandalous kisses
01 Apr 2016

SS14: Scandalous kisses

The lip print from SS14 was a reference to Yves Saint Laurent’s 1971 collection – notoriously dubbed the Scandal Show. The late Saint Laurent sewed sequined lips onto dresses after being inspired by his friend and designer Paloma Picasso, who would put Fanta on her lips. Lipsticks were a rarity during wartime, and bold red lips were considered raunchy due to their association with Parisian prostitutes 

Cult figures
01 Apr 2016

Cult figures

Known to be an avid music fan, Slimane often champions unconventional, cult and indie musicians in Saint Laurent's campaigns, which are also photographed by him

Pictured: Courtney Love, Joni Mitchell, Marilyn Manson

FW14: Disco fever
01 Apr 2016

FW14: Disco fever

Shining examples of Slimane’s talent – bring on the sequins!

SS15: Mash-up
01 Apr 2016

SS15: Mash-up

LA-girl-meets-French-Couture, aka a collision of Slimane’s fantasy worlds

FW15: Rebel at heart
01 Apr 2016

FW15: Rebel at heart

Good girls go bad, and stay bad in this audacious Fall 2015 collection

Point of reference
01 Apr 2016

Point of reference

Known to begin a collection with shoe designs as the foundation, Slimane turned to ‘70s rock icon Siouxsie Sioux for his Fall 2015 show. The result? Knee-high leather boots, sheer stockings and killer eyeliner game

Pictured: A look from FW15, Siouxsie Sioux

Chubby Coats
01 Apr 2016

Chubby Coats

A fixture at every Slimane show, the chubby coat can also be traced back to Yves Saint Laurent, who introduced the fur jacket in his 1971 Scandal Show (his detractors deemed it to be suitable only for “tarts”)

Pictured: Looks from FW15, FW16, PF16

SS16: Fallen angels
01 Apr 2016

SS16: Fallen angels

Mixing things up with grunge and glitter

SS16: Pet name
01 Apr 2016

SS16: Pet name

Slimane collaborates with 18-year-old L.A. artist Lucia Ribisi (daughter of actor Giovanni and niece of Beck) for a series of artwork, including this Baby sequinned teddy jacket shown at the Spring 2016 menswear presentation

Sleek and sexy
01 Apr 2016

Sleek and sexy

Slimane’s understated bag designs are a huge hit (interestingly, the famous YSL logo continues to be used in the brand’s accessory collections)

Pictured: Bo Opium plexiglass tassel minaudière, $2,490, and Monogram Blogger tassel bag, $1,070

FW16: Blast from the past
01 Apr 2016

FW16: Blast from the past

Every look in Slimane’s final collection pays a strong homage to Yves Saint Laurent

Speculation over Hedi Slimane leaving Saint Laurent has been swirling around the fashion circuit for months, and now, they have finally been confirmed. Saint Laurent’s parent company, Kering, announced the news in a press release published on their site on Thursday evening.

This isn’t Slimane’s first time leaving Saint Laurent either. The designer was the label’s ready-to-wear director of men’s collections from 1997 to 1999, before leaving to join Dior Homme. He returned to Saint Laurent as creative and image director in March 2012.

Slimane will go down in the house’s history as the designer who rebranded the storied label with rock ‘n’ roll cool and transformed its revered codes. The designer also stirred controversy when he dropped the “Yves” in Yves Saint Laurent (a decision that was in fact inspired by a ready-to-wear line launched in 1966 as Saint Laurent Rive Gauche – the name was changed again after Saint Laurent retired), and relocated the brand’s design studio to Los Angeles, where he is based.

His sleek, sexy grunge-inspired designs have also been credited for doubling Saint Laurent’s business and garnering a younger consumer base for the brand, in spite of negative reviews by critics. In 2015, he announced the revival of Saint Laurent’s couture arm, which was shut down in 2002. He definitely delivered, showing 42 couture looks at Paris Fashion week last month instead of ready-to-wear, as a counterpart to the men’s Fall 2016 and women’s Pre-Fall collections.

In the press statement, Kering CEO and chairman Francois-Henri Pinault said, “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.”

So, what’s next? Anthony Vaccarello, the Italian-Belgian designer who’s currently creative director of Versus Versace, is rumoured to be Slimane’s successor, though Kering and Saint Laurent have only revealed that “a new creative organisation for the House will be communicated in due course”.

Guess we’ll just have to sit back, relax and wait for the pieces in this fashion-chess game to fall. In the meantime, click through above for Slimane’s greatest hits at Saint Laurent.

Photo: TPG Images and Saint Laurent

For more on Saint Laurent, check out Fashion's Favourite Muse Stars In Saint Laurent Campaign or The Show Everyone From Lady Gaga To CL Came To See. For more on fashion, head here.