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Image: LVMH

Ahead of his much-anticipated debut as the creative director of LVMH-owned Celine this week, Hedi Slimane sat down with French publication Le Figaro for his first interview while in the role. The former Dior Homme and Saint Laurent director discussed everything from his decision to slightly modify the Celine logo (i.e., dropping the accent that formerly appeared over the first “e”) to how his take on the French brand will different from his cult-followed predecessor Phoebe Philo. A few key excerpts are below …

On changing the brand’s logo: It is in no way about marking my territory, quite the contrary. [Instead, it is] putting the church back at the center of the village. It’s orthodoxy, quite simply … [I am] installing elements of language, rooted in the original history of the house, its foundations, going back to an architectural and graphic alignment that is essential to the project.

On the widespread reactions to the logo change: There are always vivid reactions about logos, even more so nowadays due to the viral effect of social media. It’s normal. All this was anticipated, but it had to be done. The grandes maisons are alive. They must evolve and unearth the essence of their identity – everything but indifference. You don’t shake things up by avoiding making waves. When there’s no debate, it means there’s no opinion, that’s the definition of blind conformity.

On his predecessor, Phoebe Philo: Our respective styles are identifiable and very different. Our vision is naturally distinct. Besides, you don’t enter a fashion house to imitate your predecessor, much less to take over the essence of their work, their codes and elements of language … The goal is not to go the opposite way of their work either. It would be a misinterpretation. You arrive with a story, a culture, a personal language that is different from the defined ones of houses in which you create. You have to be yourself.

On his own signature aesthetic: I stand firm on my principles. Why would I give up on what defines me? Becoming someone else on the grounds that what I have done in the past has been accepted or emulated?

On social media: I understand the craze, but in my opinion, the personal privacy seems to be the last luxury that needs to be preserved [in] this search for cyber-fame, where quantity is what impresses people.