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In the latest round of designer shake-ups: Hedi Slimane is exiting Saint Laurent after being at the helm for more than three years.
Saint Laurent’s parent company, Kering, revealed the news in a press release late Thursday evening. In a joint statement with the fashion house, Kering CEO and chairman Francois-Henri Pinault remarked, “What Yves Saint Laurent has achieved over the past four years represents a unique chapter in the history of the house.”
He added, “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.”
Slimane presented his last collection at Paris Fashion Week as a follow up to part 1 of his runway show, which was held at the Hollywood Palladium in L.A. on Feb. 10. Instead of presenting a women’s ready-to-wear range, Vogue reported that Slimane showed his first couture collection (a total of 42 looks).
The designer’s exit has been rumored for a few months now, as Anthony Vaccarello has been brought up as his possible replacement, though a rep for Saint Laurent denied the rumors at the time.
During his tenure at the French fashion house, Slimane certainly made a name for himself with his much-talked-about designs — though it wasn’t always positive. His first collection for Saint Laurent was panned by critics. However, Slimane saw it coming, telling Yahoo Style in a rare interview that he knew his work “was surrounded by heavy politics and conflicts of interests. It all started before my first show, out of endless speculations. The tone was set no matter what I would design the first season.”
Slimane’s first show for Saint Laurent wasn’t the only thing that left the industry gasping — there was much chatter when he decided to drop the “Yves” in Yves Saint Laurent in 2012 and then relocated the design studio to L.A. (The couture atelier remains in France.)
Despite the negative reviews, Slimane’s creations resonated with retailers and customers alike. Last February, Fashionista reported that the Saint Laurent doubled its business since employing the French designer.
His designs were favored in Hollywood, too. Julianne Moore, Sienna Miller, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne and Jane Fonda, among many more famous folks, wore his statement-making pieces on the red carpet.
In addition to dressing some of the biggest names in film and TV, he also photographed a number of music’s major players — Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithfull, Kim Gordon and B.B. King — for his Music Project campaign.
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