Hedi Slimane (1968). Lebanese designer who lives and works in Paris. He was thrust into the limelight when he took on the task of designing the Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme line in 1996, which was greeted with immediate success. He has never studied fashion. Having attended courses in art history at the École du Louvre, José Levy employed him as artistic director in 1990. He then moved to Jean-Jacques Picart where he spent three years working as an assistant while attending the Hipokhagne, one of the highest level university faculties in the French system, preparing for admission to political sciences. He finally joined YSL at the invitation of his mentor Pierre Bergé. When the Gucci Group bought the YSL label, Slimane was paid to launch the men’s Black Tie collection under his own name. “He is so talented that he deserves his own brand. I am a great admirer of his,” said Tom Ford, artistic director of Gucci. However, in July 2000 Slimane chose to work for LVMH as artistic director of the men’s Dior collections. In September 2001, the monthly American magazine GQ heralded him as the man of the year in the category of emerging talent. Stylistically, he belongs to the new wave of young couturiers who give new life to tailoring by employing contemporary forms and lines. Elements of street style are mixed with tailoring alchemy. Thin jackets with thin belts that knot around the waist, Slimline motorcycling outfits like a streak of black ink, and handmade stretch tulle shirts are examples of an androgynous and sexy male fashion which often uses materials that are typically feminine. At Pitti Immagine Uomo in June 2002, Slimane created a large installation called Intermission at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence: 34 6-meter tall monoliths provided a new interpretation of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles and 400 neon lights in metallic structures recreated the mazes in the gardens. The palace’s chandeliers were replaced by simple ventilators that gave off a modulated sound. There were no clothes, but instead it represented the designer’s interpretation of Frenchness. The event was curated by Francesco Bonami, the co-ordinator of artistic projects for the Pitti event, and JérÂme Sans, director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
2003. The designer’s second photographic book, entitled Berlin, was published by 7L/Steidl.
2004. Slimane launched the first male eau de Cologne since 1947 for Dior Homme. There are three essences: eau noir, cologne blanche, and bois d’argent, the result of three years in the studio that involved returning to the rules of the great men’s perfumeries and the tradition of Avenue Montaigne. In June, stage, Slimane’s third photographic book, was published by 7L/Steidl with music and pop groups as its leitmotifs. In September, he presented a collection of furniture for Comme des Garµon’s new shop Dover Street Market in London. The project was called F System.
2005, July. His book “London, birth of a cult” came out, about the new music scene in Great Britain and America.