Rumor Has it (Again): Hedi Slimane to Leave YSL

Yves Saint Laurent insisted just over a week ago that rumors of creative director Hedi Slimane’s departure were merely the result of “false speculation,” but new rumors and additional developments suggest otherwise. Take for instance the new talk that a successor for Slimane is reportedly in the works: Versus Versace's director Anthony Vaccarello (above, right).

Per WWD, Slimane's contract talks have still not resulted in anything concrete and as a result, the French house has begun lining up a potential replacements. Despite having reportedly already conducted "extensive talks" with Vaccarello, Saint Laurent is still remaining tight-lipped, telling Vogue that it, "doesn't comment on rumors.”

As we pointed out last night, the house’s upcoming Fall/Winter 2016 runway show is also a bit suspect. As opposed to showing its menswear collection in Paris, Saint Laurent will show its menswear collection and Part I of its womenswear collection at the Palladium in Los Angeles on February 10th. Interestingly, the press release contained quite a little tribute to Slimane, further suggesting that the collection may be Slimane’s swan song. It reads:

HEDI SLIMANE HAS INSTIGATED THE IDEA OF CALIFORNIA, HIS HOME SINCE 2008, AS A TERRITORY OF DESIGN EXPLORATION FOR LUXURY BRANDS, FOLLOWING HIS PHILOSOPHY HE INSTALLED HIS SAINT LAURENT STUDIO IN WEST HOLLYWOOD IN 2012.

CREATING A HIGH FASHION DESIGN STUDIO IN LOS ANGELES, JUST LIKE YVES SAINT LAURENT DID WHEN HE DESIGNED FROM MARRAKECH, WAS NOVEL IN 2012. SINCE THEN, THE CITY HAS STARTED TO ATTRACT MORE AND MORE HIGH FASHION PROJECTS.

2016 MARKS THE 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE ‘‘HEDI SLIMANE DIARY”. A PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG THAT HAS MOSTLY DOCUMENTED EMERGING MUSIC OVER THE LAST DECADE; FROM LONDON AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF BRIT ROCK IN THE MID ‘00S TO THE BIRTH OF THE L.A. SURF SOUND GENERATION IN 2008.

THE HEDI SLIMANE DIARY WAS A 2006 PROTO-FORM OF WHAT WE HAVE NOW IN SCRAPBOOK STYLE SOCIAL MEDIA; AN ACCUMULATION OF INTIMATE, NARRATIVE AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHS. AN INTERPRETATION OF A WRITTEN DAILY DIARY THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY.

Despite the speculation surrounding his future, a spokesperson for YSL insisted this morning that the Los Angeles show will very much be "Hedi's show" - and that his next womenswear offering will be shown on March 7 in Paris as planned. That doesn’t really give us answers as to whether this will be Slimane’s last outing for the brand, though. As such, questions remain and if Saint Laurent is smart, it will use the suspense to its benefit. Another question that is being risen quite a bit on social media, in particular: Will One Direction front man and Saint Laurent uber-fan Harry Styles be in attendance? 

Slimane, who joined the house in 2012, has been one of the most buzzed-about designers ever since while dramatically overhauling the brand — starting with changing its name from Yves Saint Laurent to simply Saint Laurent. The buzz comes after a year of major changes at renowned French fashion houses, from Lanvin to Christian Dior to Balenciaga.