After months of speculations, Kering has confirmed – Hedi Slimane is leaving Saint Laurent. Did Hedi realise that there is not enough place for him and Demna Gvasalia, the other designer who makes cheap-looking clothes with four digit price-tags? Let’s be clear – Slimane, during his three-and-a-half year tenure was the master of hypocrisy. Do you remember the autumn-winter 2013, when he presented mohair cardigans, studded boots and skimpy, leather dresses? Some said it was a modern-day nod to Yves Saint Laurent’s controversial Le Scandale collection. But some were more realistic, and not that optimistic – these clothes looked like grunge, but a la River Island circa 2010 rather than Kurt Cobain. Even though in the same year Courtney Love became the face of Saint Laurent. If talking of another odd things that happened during Slimane’s “era” – the tiaras from SS16. One costs, yes, 995 euros here. And it gets even more ironic, when you note that this is a prom-like, brass tiara embellished with rhinestone. Not with gems, silver or, huh, diamonds. I doubt it’s even Swarovski.
However, Hedi Slimane can be at least praised for the speed and desperation with which he had totally revamped the house. The interiors of the flagship stores, which used to be so boring with Stefano Pilati in charge, got the marble upgrade, while the advertisement campaigns – starring Kim Gordon, Joni Mittchel and lately, Jane Birkin – were always photographed by him, and had a cool, LA-rooted rock’n’roll spark. Also, it’s reported that the revenue of the brand increased in all categories, from accessories to clothes. People are buying Saint Laurent, so there is surely an undefined reason for Slimane’s success. But then, why did he leave? And will Anthony Vaccarello, whose aesthetic isn’t far from Hedi’s, get the point? Time will tell. But for now, let’s look back at the journey that Slimane took us to.
4 thoughts on “Farewell, Hedi!”
Thank you for voicing what I’ve always thought. Many bloggers I love and respect are almost tearful at this news, which makes your candour even more refreshing. Even the “essentials” of the brand are far too over-priced to qualify as an investment. I succumbed to ordering online a pair of Saint Laurent boots recently only to feel completely duped afterwards when I discovered they were no better (nay, worse) than my corner Nine West. I sent them back. Looking forward to seeing what the next era brings for this house.
The prices are inadequate at Saint Laurent. If you want to pay, then pay for Celine – a timeless bag, a “best friend” cashmere knit. These clothes are worth it, and I doubt Hedi’s style should be that expensive, when he intentionally makes everything look trashy! Thanks for commenting! XX Ed
Slimane’s tenure was iconic. The revenue stellar. “Saint Laurent recorded revenues of 974 million euros, or $1.08 billion, last year with a network of 142 stores — far fewer locations than mega brands such as Gucci, Dior, Chanel or Louis Vuitton” ( wwd.com).
I hope he doesn’t take 5 years off like he did between Dior and Chanel. Would like to see Slimane at the helm of Dior.
I am not a fan of his fashion, but surely he does have his own, signature style! Thanks for your comment! XX Ed