Hedi Slimane: Confirmed as Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent

So, the fact that Raf Simons is leaving Jil Sander and that the label’s founder, Jil Sander, is taking his place is old news because Stefano Pilati is out at Yves St. Laurent and Hedi Slimane, the former design head of Dior Homme, is set to take over as creative director. As widely reported, “Few careers have been so closely monitored, or as widely discussed in recent years as Hedi Slimane’s.” In 1996, the designer, who is of French and Tunisian decent, was tapped by YSL co-founder Pierre Bergé for the position of ready-to-wear director of men's collections at Yves Saint Laurent.

He ultimately gained worldwide fame during his tenure as creative directorship of Dior Homme from 2000 to 2007, during which time he had a hand in popularizing skinny silhouette in menswear, along with Raf Simons. In April 2002, Hedi Slimane was the first menswear designer to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award for International Designer. David Bowie, whom Hedi Slimane dressed for his tours, presented the award. He furthermore created tour costumes for groups such as The Libertines, Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, and The Kills, and artists such as Mick Jagger, Beck, and Jack White.

With music always playing a large role in Slimane’s work, it was common for Slimane to commission original soundtracks for his runway shows for Dior Homme. Such tracks included songs by artists such as Beck, Readymade FC (Jean-Philippe Verdin), and bands such as Phoenix, The Rakes, and Razorlight.

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 alluded to such discussions on his website, writing that he did not want to lose control of his name, and management of his own brand. He ultimately spent the next five years pursuing personal projects, namely his photography, which has been documented in Slimane’s photographic blog, Hedi Slimane Diary, and in galleries in the U.S. and abroad.