Hedi Slimane, the man set to shake up Céline
When Céline announced at the end of December 2017 that its artistic director of ten years, the incredibly discrete English woman Phoebe Philo, would be leaving, a world crumbled, one of a radical minimalism and laid-back intelligence. Between her rigorous cuts, artistic references and ultra-desirable collections, the commercial success she has generated will be hard to live up to. But the LVMH group hit back hard with the announcement of her successor in January 2018: none other than Hedi Simane. And to make things even more exciting, the French designer and photographer, long coveted by Bernard Arnault, will also be developing menswear, haute couture and perfumes.
At the dawn of the 2000s the visionary Hedi Slimane imposed an androgynous and rock silhouette at Dior Homme. This approach was reiterated with even greater success at Saint Laurent between 2012 and 2015, doubling the company’s turnover (from 353 million euros in 2011 to 707 million in 2014). Saint Laurent, under the leadership of Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello has continued the Slimane legacy electrifying collections with a major dose of sexy irreverence.
With Hedi Slimane loyal to one vision only - his - and his mastery of the strata of a fashion and luxury house (designing everything from advertisements to the boutiques), as he did at Saint Laurent, will Celine live up to his expectations? The question also arises whether he’ll be applying his rock bohemian aesthetic, adored by rock stars and the music world in general, from the Rolling Stones to Daft Punk, challenging the artistic directions taken by Dior Homme and especially Saint Laurent. Watch this space…