The fashion feeds have been constantly abuzz with rumors about Hedi Slimane’s impending departure from his creative director role at Saint Laurent. The designer has been shutting the rumor down, but yesterday everything took a turn for the worst – Slimane made his announcement of resignation from his role at Saint Laurent, on April Fool’s Day no less. The news is shocking in and of itself, albeit expected, but the real wave of panic will likely hit on April 2, when the truth sets in that this was no elaborate prank to commemorate the international jokers’ holiday.
Slimane has had a tremendous career with Saint Laurent, beginning in 2012, and he has since performed a total overhaul of the brand, rebranding the aesthetic and creating a truly beautiful series of collections with his time there. But the rebranding began with a change to the name, shortening the “Yves Saint Laurent” label to not include the first name of the iconic designer. His final work, which we have absolutely loved, can now be looked at as his farewell campaign.
Slimane’s final departure gift to fashion followers everywhere must have been his casting of Cara Delevingne, who renounced her model career last August, and Jane Birkin. It makes a great deal more sense for him to have completed that maneuver, especially since the two had been known as such a dynamic pairing in the fashion industry. For his groundbreaking work as a part of the luxury label, he will be sorely missed.
“I am very grateful to Hedi Slimane, and the whole Yves Saint Laurent team, for having set the path that the house has successfully embraced, and which will grant longevity to this legendary brand,” said Chairman and CEO of Kering François-Henri Pinault.
Not one to skip out on poetics, he continued by describing Slimane’s announcement of departure as “the end of a four-year mission, which has led to the complete repositioning of the brand,” which was “an undisputed success.”
The success, as mentioned before, resulted in a great many new innovations relating to the label and its image. The clothes were reconfigured, as were the stores in which they are sold. Everything still carries the luxurious Yves Saint Laurent essence, but the rebranding has created a multitude of new opportunities for modern and younger women to connect with the label, and to have a wonderful experience when interacting with the brand. Essentially, he was able to youthen up the collections and ad campaigns to connect with a broader audience in terms of demographics. He brought rock ‘n’ roll, he brought grunge, and he brought a whole lot of revenue because of his innovative outlook on the fashion industry. His accessories exploded when they hit the market, contributing most to the revenue brought in.
In other words, whoever is tasked with replacing Hedi Slimane as the creative director of Saint Laurent has enormous shoes to fill. There is no word yet as to who his successor will be, but the rumor mill suggests the position might go to Anthony Vaccarello, as it has ever since speculations arose of Slimane’s resignation. Other rumors suggest that Slimane will end up as creative director at Chanel, due to his close relationship with Karl Lagerfeld. Unfortunately, even after this bombshell, we are back where we began: with nothing but rumors.
Photo courtesy of Vogue