Hedi Slimane (born July 5, 1968 in Paris) is a French fashion designer of Tunisian, Italian-Brazilian origins. He studied political sciences , and Art History at the École du Louvre, and was also educated as a tailor. From 1992 to 1995 he worked for Jean-Jacques Picart, notably on the centenary exhibition of Louis Vuitton’s “LV” monogram label.
Pierre Bergé appointed him as Collections and Art Director at the house of Yves Saint Laurent in 1997, and they relaunched YSL Rive Gauche Homme. He left the house in 1999, and was invited to create his own label within the Gucci Group. He was invited to join the Prada Group to design for the Jil Sander label. Instead, he chose to work at Christian Dior, where he became the creative designer for men’s clothing, and designed the line of Dior Homme in 2000. In 2002, the Council of Fashion Designers of America named him the International Designer of the Year in New York. In 2003, he was appointed creative director for Christian Dior men’s fragrances, including Eau Noire, Cologne Blanche, Bois d’Argent, Dior homme, and Dior Homme Intense. He also created the first skincare lines for Dior, the “Dermo” system.
In July 2007, Slimane left the house of Dior. In an attempt to convince him to stay, Dior’s parent company, LVMH offered to finance Slimane’s own signature line. Slimane rejected their offer in February 2008. He stated on his website that he did not want to lose his creative freedom, sell his name, or give up the control of his own brand. He is expected to debut a line of his own which will include womenswear.
Slimane has scouted and recruited many models for his fashion shows from the streets of London, New York, and Berlin, who fit his aesthetic. Isaac Ferry, the son of rocker Bryan Ferry, made his catwalk debut at one of Slimane’s shows when he was 16 years old.
When Karl Lagerfeld lost 42 kg (roughly 92.6 pounds) in 13 months in 2001, his explanation was “…I suddenly wanted to dress differently, to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane,” he said. “But these fashions, modeled by very, very slim boys—and not men my age—required me to lose at least 40 kg. It took me exactly thirteen months.” The diet was created specially for Lagerfeld by Dr. Jean-Claude Houdret, which led to a book called The Karl Lagerfeld Diet.Slimane has a background in furniture design, fragrance, store design, and photography. He is perhaps best known for the slim silhouette of his menswear. In addition to his work as a fashion designer, he has been involved in various other projects, including as editor-in-chief of Libération and designing album covers for artists such as Phoenix and Daft Punk. In 2004, he published “Stage”, a collection of his Rock musician photography. He has published several other books of his photography and has contributed writing and photography to many fashion magazines including Vanity Fair.
In April 2008, Slimane left for the US, and started a new project, “Young American”, which was partly shown at the FOAM Museum in July 2007. He had two other shows: at Arndt and Partners Gallery in Berlin—titled “Sweet Bird of Youth” (a group show, with contributions from emerging artists in the New York art scene), and a solo show at Ellipse Foundation for contemporary art. He also collaborated on the exhibition “Perfect Stranger”, at Gallery Almine Rech, in Paris, February 2008, another show at Koyanagi Gallery in Tokyo, and one at the Musac Contemporary Art Museum in Spain in May 2008.
The cover and promotional art for The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga was photographed by Slimane in 2009.