Hedi Slimane is a French fashion designer. From 2000 to 2007, he held the position of creative director for Dior Homme (the menswear line of Christian Dior). He is currently the creative director for Saint Laurent (formerly Yves Saint Laurent).
He was born to an Italian mother and a Tunisian father in 1968 in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. At 11, he discovered photography, received his first camera and learned black and white darkroom printing. At 16, without fashion in mind, Slimane started making his own clothes. He studied Art History at the Ecole du Louvre and completed a tailor apprenticeship at a men’s designer house. Early in his career, he visited the offices of Le Monde, as he wished to become a journalist and reporter.
From 1992 to 1995, Slimane assisted fashion consultant Jean-Jacques Picart on the centenary of the project "monogram canvas" of Louis Vuitton. The project invited seven fashion designers — Azzedine Alaia, Helmut Lang, Sybilla, Manolo Blahnik, Isaac Mizrahi, Romeo Gigli, and Vivienne Westwood — to reinterpret the monogram canvas in celebration of its longevity.
In 1996, Pierre Bergé installed Slimane in the position of ready-to-wear director of mens collections at Yves Saint Laurent and later he became artistic director. After the Black Tie collection for autumn-winter 2000-2001, which foreshadowed the advent of Slimane's silhouette, and the debuts of "skinny", he chose to leave YSL, declined the offer of creative directorship at Jil Sander, and accepted the position of creative director for menswear at Christian Dior.
In June 2001, he headed up the launch of Dior Homme's first fragrance under his creative control — named Higher. He designed the packaging and worked with Richard Avedon on the accompanying advertising campaign. In April 2002, Hedi Slimane was the first menswear designer to receive the CFDA award for International Designer. David Bowie, whom Slimane dressed for his tours, presented the award.
Slimane commissioned original soundtracks for his runway shows for Dior Homme, created by artists such as Beck, Readymade FC (Jean-Philippe Verdin), and bands such as Phoenix, The Rakes, and Razorlight. The track "In the Morning" was composed by Razorlight exclusively for the Dior Homme show. Slimane was known for working with emerging avant-garde artists. Readymade Fc composed "F Me" (2001-2002) and the legendary "Flexion" (2002-2003). These New Puritans, composed "Navigate, Navigate" for the last défilé of Dior Homme in January 2007. Slimane became known for redefining the male silhouette, widely recreated in fashion and advertising (fashion and fragrances).
In July 2007, Slimane did not renew his contract at Dior Homme. The fashion house proposed to fund Slimane's own label, but the discussions failed. Slimane had written on his website that he did not want to lose control of his name, and management of his own brand. He returned to fashion and portrait photography.
In March 2012, Yves Saint Laurent and its parent company, Kering (formerly PPR), announced that Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati as creative director at Yves Saint Laurent. Slimane has based in his creative studio in Los Angeles, rather than the brand's Parisian headquarters.
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Creative Director, Saint Laurent 2012 - Present, Paris, France
2000 - 2007, Paris, France
1996 - 2000, Paris, France