The man behind Saint Laurent’s dramatic and highly discussed transformation over the last two years, Hedi Slimane is no stranger to controversy. From his beginnings at Saint Laurent’s menswear line to his time at Dior Homme, Slimane has had a history of creative and financial success. With a grunge aesthetic, he has made the label more commercial and friendly to a young, restless audience of musicians and celebrities, but has also hailed criticism from the fashion industry for losing what Yves Saint Laurent was known for prior to his takeover. Unlike many designers, Slimane doesn’t simply create a concept around some fleeting inspiration. Every collection he shows is intrinsically him, the unique product of his rock-and-roll California lifestyle and his background in the world of high fashion. Music, and rock in particular, has had a huge impact on the fashion he creates.
Slimane is part of a network of rockers, models, and artists, reminiscent of those who used to hang out at the Factory in the 60’s and 70’s. He has worked with Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, Sky Ferreira, Phoenix, and Pete Doherty, amongst others, and has featured many of these musicians in his Rock Diary, an online compilation of visceral, provocative black and white photographs. The Rock Diary perfectly represents Slimane’s vision and aesthetic –impactful, graphic, and raw. The Diary contains a photo series of Amy Winehouse from 2007, a perfect symbol of hard rock-and-roll culture. Other entries document artists like the Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, and The Heartbreaks, energetic and in mid-performance. Each photograph is filled with the liberated energy and passion that clearly defines Slimane’s outlook on fashion today.
Apart from preparing the Spring 2014 collection, Slimane has recently shot editorials, including Justin Timberlake for T Magazine. His past shows have included live rock music from the likes of Daft Punk, and have boasted a front row with everyone from Betty Catroux to Anna Wintour, Kate Moss to Kirsten Dunst. Each collection has been a little more liberated than the last, so we can’t help but wait in anticipation for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Slimane is bound to put out a collection that rocks and shocks.