Having pretty much vanished since leaving Saint Laurent in 2016, Hedi Slimane is back. This time as artistic, creative and image director at Céline. As of February 1, Slimane will take over and reportedly expand the French ready-to-wear label in the new directions of menswear and couture.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of global luxury conglomerate LVMH, said in a statement: “I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group, and taking the reins of our Céline maison. He is one of the most talented designers of our time. I have been a great admirer of his work since we collaborated on Dior Homme, which he launched to global critical acclaim in the 2000s. His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this maison.”
Meanwhile, Slimane announced: “I am delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline, and I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers.”
Slimane left Saint Laurent in 2016, having overseen a four-year reimagining of the house, that drew criticism from fashion die-hards, but was a huge hit with a new generation of customers. Prior to that, the reclusive designer worked for Dior Homme, where his sharply tailored looks are said to have prompted Karl Lagerfeld to shed several stone in order to be able to wear them.
The previous designer for Céline - Phoebe Philo - left in December last year, raising the question of who would replace her, and where she would go next. At least we have the answer to one of those questions.