For those who have been closely monitoring the most recent round of creative director musical chairs, here is the latest update: Hedi Slimane has enlisted the help of legal counsel, Paris-based firm Cabinet Temime & Associés, to represent him in connection with Yves Saint Laurent, and his counsel has released a statement denying a certain recent rumor. As you may know, Kering (parent to Gucci, YSL, Balenciaga, etc.) confirmed last month that Slimane was leaving his position as creative director of YSL, the house he joined in 2012, and would be replaced by Anthony Vaccarello.
Recent reports suggested that Slimane was taking meetings with investors in order to garner funding for an eponymous label. Last month, WWD reported that Slimane was spotted at the Doha, Qatar, offices of Mayhoola for Investments, a fund that controls Valentino and has interests in Anya Hindmarsh. In a statement from Slimane’s counsel, dated May 4th, such reports are erroneous, as Slimane “has never had in the past, let alone now, the intention or desire to launch a brand under his name.” Moreover, the statement asserts that Slimane has never even been to Doha.
In light of this new information, the longer-standing rumors that Slimane is headed to Chanel seem to be even more plausible. Chances are, legal counsel will help Slimane to navigate his ability to work for a rival design house (read: Chanel), assuming an ironclad non-compete agreement exists between himself and YSL. As for the seeming urgency, it makes sense considering that Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, 82, is, according to our sources, obsessed with finding his replacement and bringing him into the picture as soon as possible in order to be groomed to replace him come his decision to retire or otherwise within the next two years.
An interesting final note: Temime, the firm that Slimane has enlisted, is best known for its criminal defense and litigation practice. According to the firm’s website, “The goal of TEMIME’s lawyers is to offer assistance and a rigorous and effective defence including the prevention of criminal risks in companies, hearing preparation (with concrete simulations), management of criminal and litigation proceedings, and pleading, with a distinctive experience in sensitive and/or high media exposure matters.” Other – albeit secondary – practices areas include “press law (defamation, right to privacy), defense before professional and disciplinary bodies, family law.”