Meet Hedi Slimane

Hedi Slimane born July 5, 1968 is a French photographer and fashion designer. From 2000 to 2007, he held the position of creative director for Dior Homme the menswear line of Dior. From 2012 to 2016 he was the creative director for Yves Saint Laurent. Since February 1, 2018, Slimane has been the creative, artistic and image director of Celine.

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In November 2018, Hedi Slimane topped the annual list of Vanity Fair’s “50 most influential French people in the world”. From 1992 to 1995, Slimane assisted fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart on the centenary of the project “monogram canvas” of Louis Vuitton. The project invited seven fashion designers—Azzedine Alaia, Helmut Lang, Sybilla, Manolo Blahnik, Isaac Mizrahi, Romeo Gigli, and Vivienne Westwood—to reinterpret the monogram canvas in celebration of its longevity.

In 1996, Pierre Bergé installed Slimane in the position of ready-to-wear director of men’s collections at Yves Saint Laurent and later he became artistic director. After the Black Tie collection for autumn-winter 2000–01, which foreshadowed the advent of Slimane’s silhouette, and the debuts of “skinny,” he chose to leave YSL, declined the offer of creative directorship at Jil Sander, and accepted the position of creative director for menswear at Christian Dior.

In June 2001, he headed up the launch of Dior Homme’s first fragrance under his creative control, named Higher. He designed the packaging and worked with Richard Avedon on the accompanying advertising campaign. In April 2002, Hedi Slimane was the first menswear designer to receive the CFDA award for International Designer. David Bowie, whom Hedi Slimane dressed for his tours, presented the award. Thanks in part to Slimane, Dior’s couture business, which includes ready-to-wear and accessories, increased volume and profit by 41 percent in 2002. Brad Pitt had Slimane create his wedding suit for his marriage to Jennifer Aniston.

Although he never designed a womenswear collection, he dressed female celebrities including Madonna and Nicole Kidman during his tenure at Dior. He furthermore created stagewear for groups such as The Libertines, Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, and The Kills, and artists such as Mick Jagger, Beck, and Jack White.

Slimane commissioned original soundtracks for his runway shows for Dior Homme, created by artists such as Beck, Readymade FC (Jean-Philippe Verdin), and bands such as Phoenix, The Rakes, and Razorlight. The track “In the Morning” was composed by Razorlight exclusively for the Dior Homme show. Slimane was known for working with emerging avantgarde artists. Readymade FC composed “F Me” (2001–02) and the legendary “Flexion” (2002–03).

These New Puritans, composed “Navigate, Navigate” for the last défilé of Dior Homme in January 2007. Slimane became known for redefining the male silhouette, widely recreated in fashion and advertising

In July 2007, Slimane did not renew his contract at Dior Homme. The fashion house discussed the funding of Slimane’s own label, but the discussions failed. Slimane had written on his website that he did not want to lose control of his name, and management of his own brand. He returned to fashion and portrait photography.

In March 2011, following John Galliano’s dismissal from Dior, Slimane was linked with the job of new Dior creative director. In March 2012, Yves Saint Laurent and its parent company, PPR, officially stated that Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati as creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, after the departure of the latter, who held said position for almost eight years. He based his creative studio in Los Angeles, rather than the brand’s Parisian headquarters.

In April 2016, Slimane was succeeded by Anthony Vaccarello as creative director for Yves Saint Laurent. In January 2018, LVMH announced that Slimane would take on the role of creative director at Celine. In April 2018, Slimane won more than 8 million euros in a lawsuit against Kering S.A. after he was paid only €667,000 instead of €10 million for his non-compete clause.In 2000, Visionaire magazine, a New York quarterly that commissions publication projects on fashion, asked Slimane to guest edit its next issue. Published in an edition of 6,000 and priced at $175, Slimane’s proposal of his own vision of Paris as a city of the future involved the participation of 29 artists, photographers, architects, musicians, and graphic and Web site designers. Immediately after leaving Yves Saint Laurent, Slimane moved to Berlin, where, upon the invitation by curator Klaus Biesenbach, he took up a residency at the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art between 2000 and 2002. Berlin, a selection of black and white photographs published by Editions 7L/Steidl with Karl Lagerfeld and Steidl in 2002, was Slimane’s first book documenting the Berlin scene. Stage, published by Steidl in 2004, is his second book published on the rock revival and the 2.0 generation. Also in 2004, Slimane created the album cover for the band Phoenix’s album Alphabetical.

London Birth of a Cult, released by Steidl in 2005, described the daily life of a young, unknown British rock star Pete Doherty. Pete Doherty is surrounded by The Paddingtons, his fans, and he symbolized the new generation of London punk rock. The book foreshadowed the project on “London”. Slimane proposed “London” to the French daily Libération.

The London issue, published in May 2005, marked the beginning of the British onslaught, and its adoption by a new generation of French fans. On July 5, 2005, Slimane celebrated his birthday at Tryptique club in Paris where Doherty took stage by surprise and sang Happy Birthday. The Paddingtons and The Others also performed. In May 2006, Hedi Slimane created the photographic blog Hedi Slimane Diary. Slimane created his Rock Diary, beginning in 2004 in collaboration with the British journalist from NME, Alex Needham.

In addition, he shot spreads for magazines including French Vogue, VMAN, and Purple. When Slimane left for America and based himself in Los Angeles in 2007, California became the subject of many of his images and later the subject of several exhibitions. In 2011, he curated “Myths and Legends of Los Angeles” a group show of Californian artists, including John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Chris Burden, Sterling Ruby, Mark Hagen, and Patrick Hill at Almine Rech Gallery in Paris and Brussels. His own work was shown in 2011 at the MOCA, where Slimane presented a photographic installation that showcased an archive of images from his California period.

The exhibition, titled “California Song”, was created in a kinematics way, accompanied by a soundtrack by the musical group No Age. No Age performed on the opening night on November 11, 2011, drawing a record attendance of over 2,000 people for the MOCA. The opening night performance became the subject of a documentary by Slimane and Commonwealth. Christopher Owens, the singer of Girls, was the lead figure of “California Song”. Digital slide show billboards were seen in the streets of Los Angeles showcasing the MOCA exhibition

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