EXCLUSIVE: Hedi Slimane to Join Céline - and Will Add Men's Wear

EXCLUSIVE: Hedi Slimane to Join Céline - and Will Add Men's Wear
From WWD - January 21, 2018

PARIS One of fashions preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Hedi Slimane is to lead Cline into mens wear, couture and fragrance as its new artistic, creative and image director, WWD has learned.

He is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week.

I am enchanted, what a great choice, said Karl Lagerfeld, one of Slimanes most enthusiastic fans, who famously shed 90 pounds in order to shimmy into his slim tailoring. It will be great.

It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputationand influenced mens tailoring for more than a decadeas the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the Kering-owned house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016all the while maintaining a close rapport with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior.

In a curious twist of fate, Slimane will be reunited with Sidney Toledano, the legendary chief executive officer of Dior, who recruited the designer to propel the storied couture house into mens fashion.

Toledano is to relinquish his role to Pietro Beccari, who joins the management helm of Dior from Fendi, and become chairman and ceo of LVMH Fashion Group, which includes Cline along with the brands Givenchy, Kenzo, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Pucci, Rossi Moda and Nicholas Kirkwood.

I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group and taking the creative reins of our Cline maison, said Bernard Arnault, chairman and ceo of LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton, calling Slimane 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 acclaim in the 2000s. His arrival at Cline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this maison. Hedi will oversee all creativity for both womens and mens fashion, but also for leather goods, accessories and fragrances. He will leverage his global vision and unique esthetic virtuosity in further building an iconic French maison.

It is understood Cline, prized for its sumptuous leather goods and modernist clothing, is already approaching one billion euros in revenues.

Sources indicate LVMH has ambitions to double that figure as it leverages Slimanes global following, his design chops, and a widening of the product universe.

It is understood the first freestanding Cline mens boutiques are to open as early as 2019. Slimanes designs for men are sure to attract keen interest from retailers and fashion fans alikewhile perhaps sparking anxiety among some of his designer colleagues in mens.

In a statement, Slimane said he is delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Cline. I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers.


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