BREAKING: Kering Confirms Hedi Slimane Exit From YSL; Anthony Vaccarello Is His Successor

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The rumors are 100% true! Kering confirmed Hedi Slimane exit from YSL.

In the beginning of the year, exclusively reported that news broke in Paris (traveling to the states), saying that Saint Laurent‘s creative director Hedi Slimane “departed from the house over the holiday due to creative differences”. The brand’s U.S. PR team, confirmed that Slimane has not left the label back then. A Saint Laurent representative in Pairs said, “Following the recent [designer] departures, [there] have been many rumors and speculations. This is clearly one more” (see our original report here).

A few days after reporting our original story, we reported another story saying that “Slimane may be poised to make his second exit from Yves Saint Laurent,” via WWD . The publications said, according to their sources, “the designer has so far failed to reach an agreement on the renewal of his initial contract with the Kering-owed fashion house and is preparing to part ways with a brand he revved up with his rock ‘n’ roll-inspired fashions and a top-to-bottom reform of the storied house.”

Earlier this morning, Friday (April 1), news broke in Paris saying that Hedi Slimane is making his second exit from the creative helm of Yves Saint Laurent. The news was confirmed today in a brief joint statement issued by Yves Saint Laurent and Kering, the luxury group which owns the French house.

“What Yves Saint Laurent has achieved over the past four years represents a unique chapter in the history of the house,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, in a statement issued by the company, crediting Slimane with completely repositioning the Yves Saint Laurent brand. “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.”

Francesca Bellettini, president and chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent, thanked Slimane for his “vision in reforming such an iconic house,” adding: “The direction that has been taken over the last four years represents an incredible foundation for the brand to build on for its continuous success.”

Slimane joined Saint Laurent for the second time in March 2012, replacing creative director Stefano Pilato who helmed the label for almost eight years. In the late 90s, Slimane joined the house and quickly ascended its ranks, moving from assistant in fashion marketing to designer, rebooting its Rive Gauche Homme collection, before exiting in 2000. He also served as creative director at Dior Homme from 2000 to 2007.

New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn has criticized the L.A.-based designer (Hedi Slimane) in the past and so did the Guardian‘s fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley.

Under Slimane‘s creative direction, Saint Laurent‘s sales has risen. Annual sales revenue more than doubled to about $787 million in 2014 from the time he joined the house.

Even though, I agree with Cathy Horyn, when she criticized Hedi Slimane for taking Yves out of YSL and renaming it Saint Laurent, I must admit that I do like how Hedi Slimane has revamped and rebranded the label over the last three years.

It is being reported that Slimane‘s successor is Anthony Vaccarello, and he will start as soon as May 1 – in time for the spring 2017 shows in Paris this fall.

Kering and Saint Laurent would only say that “a new creative organization for the house will be communicated in due course.”

In January 2015, Italian fashion designer and current Vice President of the Versace Group, as well as its Chief Designer, Donatella Versace named Anthony Vaccarello creative director of Versace‘s sister line, Versus (see it here). He subsequently went on to work at Fendi and in 2009 launched his namesake collection in Paris, where he continues to show.

Vaccarello, 33, would become only the fourth ready-to-wear designer at YSL. Successors to the legendary couturier, who retired from fashion in 2002 and died in 2008 at the age of 71, also included Alber Elbaz and Tom Ford.

Photos Credit: Getty Images 

Source: BoF and WWD

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.