Hedi Slimane: the talented designer is hot news

From Hyères to Los Angeles via Paris and Doha, the fashion world is buzzing with rumours about Hedi Slimane. Whether true or false, the rumours reveal the interest various players have in the near-iconic designer, who according to a source had a contract with Saint Laurent worth about €15 million.


Hedi Slimane - AFP

He was indeed worth it, judging by the rise in Saint Laurent sales since his move. A rise of over 27% in the current fiscal year's first quarter for Kering.

So, who will fork out the amount required to convince this peerless creative who, both at Dior and at Kering, was able to reach a huge audience? Or, more simply, who can best seduce him?
 
According to our information, he could be headed for Chanel, there to launch a men's line. Hedi Slimane is reportedly virtually working for Chanel already, though not to replace the fashion label's star.

"Hedi Slimane is Karl Lagerfeld's spiritual child. Chanel at one time had even offered Slimane to pay him to stay at home instead of going to Saint Laurent," stated a source close to the fashion label.

A way to manage the Lagerfeld transition softly, but especially by making a very big bang.

The two designers kicked off the year together, driven by Lady Gaga, by taking pictures of each other for V Magazine. Their reciprocal respect is a well-known fact.

"For us, the news is when Hedi Slimane will begin at Chanel," said a Parisian luxury industry specialist.

Chanel though has denied that the former Saint Laurent creative director will join the fashion label.
 
On the other hand, some professionals we met at the Hyères (France) festival of fashion and photography do not believe the rumour. "I don't see Chanel investing in someone who could abandon the label on a whim," said one of them. It is true that Chanel has been in partnership with Karl Lagerfeld for over thirty years.

But the designer himself is one-of-a-kind, and the times have changed. It is necessary to prepare for his succession.
 
Here is another remark, again heard at Hyères: "With Hedi Slimane, Chanel would have to make over all its stores. Do you see Chanel doing this?"
 
Another news item also emerged last week, from the Hypebeast website. Hedi Slimane reportedly met with Qatari investors Mayhoola for Investments, already in charge of Valentino. The reason for the meeting? Supposedly to set up his own brand.

Slimane is a man with many interests (photography, music, etc.), like Karl Lagerfeld, but does he have the ability or the willingness to establish his own brand in the fashion world or, no less difficult an undertaking, of changing an established brand?   We shall see...

Jean-Paul Leroy (with Bruno Joly, Lucile Deprez and Dominique Muret)

Translated by Nicola Mira

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