The fashion industry is always awash in rumors, and there’s nothing people seem to like to speculate on more than “What will Hedi Slimane do next?” and “Who might take over Chanel one day?” Inevitably, sometimes that gossip cross pollinates into “Hedi Slimane is heading to Chanel.”
It’s not the first time such speculation has been thrown around, but apparently this time buzz got strong enough that Chanel had to issue a statement to downplay it.
The rumors made a certain amount of sense. Slimane, who of course first became a fashion darling through his generation-defining work at Dior Homme, would be brought on to fully develop Chanel’s menswear offering. The brand offers some things for the gentlemen here and there (and, of course, has brought on Pharrell Williams to help market its latest unisex bag to men), but is one of the few major brands that hasn’t fully explored the possibilities of dressing dudes. Slimane would then be groomed to someday take over for Karl Lagerfeld.
Of course, Lagerfeld and Slimane are friends and mutual professional admirers. Lagerfeld famously credited his weight loss to a desire to wear the slim suits Slimane had perfected at Dior.
But don’t take any of this as anything more than fashion fan fiction.
“The house of Chanel has no projects with Hedi Slimane,” Chanel said in a statement released to Women’s Wear Daily. “Chanel doesn’t work on the launch of a Chanel men’s wear collection.”
Well, that’s to the point.
Of course, the question of Slimane’s next move has been a subject of fascination since his abrupt departure from Saint Laurent last year. While his time there was relatively brief, he more than proved that he can produce a commercially successful women’s wear line as well.
Though, Slimane hasn’t been eager to play his next move (not much a surprise considering his years long gap between his stints at Dior Homme and Saint Laurent). In addition to the Chanel theories, rumors of the possibility of a line under Slimane’s own name have also been downplayed. Indeed, Slimane actually got into a legal battle with Kering Group, YSL’s parent company, to get the company to keep enforcing the “non-compete” clause in his contract.
Fashion Designers Spill to W:
Hedi Slimane’s Greatest Hits for Saint Laurent: A Look Back
SS13 Look 4
Hedi Slimane debuted his newly renamed “Saint Laurent” collection in September, 2012. Edie Campbell, a favorite model of Slimane’s at Saint Laurent, wears a dress that harkens back to YSL’s “la saharienne” style, most iconically worn by Veruschka.
SS13 Look 7
Saskia de Brauw wore a rock-chic update on the YSL classic Le Smoking.
SS13 Look 13
With a dramatic pussycat bow, and a short short silhouette, Slimane’s Saint Laurent touches on elements of old YSL combined with the California coast Slimane calls home.
PF13 Look 12
Sky Ferreira appears in the lookbook for the first pre-collection, one of the many musicians Slimane taps to appear in his collections.
Grunge was the focal point of Slimane’s FW13 collection.
FW13 Look 44
One can’t help but think this look was pulled right from Courtney Love’s closet.
RE14 Look 10
Sasha Pivovarova wears Saint Laurent staples, leopard and leather, for the Resort 2014 look book
SS14 Look 2
The lip print ruled the runway for spring 2014.
SS14 Look 44
And it got an added dose of glamour in sequins.
FW14 Look 5
60s shift dresses and make-up are key moments for Slimane’s FW14 collection. Cara Delevigne also covered the October 2014 issue of W wearing this same look.
FW14 Look 7
Mad for plaid for FW14.
FW14 Look 52
Bring on the sequins and shine! This season every fashion editor was dying for variations of the black patent boots and glittery dresses and accessories.
FW14 Look 54
Dramatic capes were always a favorite of editors attending Slimane’s runway shows.
SS15 Look 1
The one shoulder ruffle felt very YSL, updated for today’s rock-chic babe in a cherry print and studded belt.
SS15 Look 51
This look features all the favorite Saint Laurent touches – a bit of distressed denim, sequins, and leopard, all worn by one of Slimane’s muse Lili Sumner.
SS15 Men’s Look #22
Heavy metal and western jewelry decorated the bodies of the few women (and the men!) who walked in Slimane’s SS15 men’s show.
FW15 Look #1
Because everyone needs and 80s prom dress/ballet tutu number. Paired with fishnets and touch boots, this is the epitome of Slimane’s rock princess.
FW15 Look 23
For FW15 the print du jour was an all-over red lipstick print. Sexy and playful, it was a party girl’s dress of choice for a night out.
FW15 Look 30
The dramatic one-shoulder look makes another appearance for FW15, this time in a graphic and stunning black and white.
FW15 Look 46
This fur-and-feather coat was by far the boldest fur on the FW15 season.
FW15 Look 54
Lida Fox had walked in many a Saint Laurent show, but this was probably the most daring look she ever sported on his runway.
SS16 Men’s Look 74
Little girl dresses are a Saint Laurent favorite, especially when they are gilded in sequins.
SS16 Look 1
The fashion flock is in love with the slip dress at the moment, and this silvery slinky number feels very 90s Kate Moss.
SS16 Look 34
Another beautiful slip dress, sheer lace with beautiful embroidery.
SS16 Look 48
Slimane is known for getting his inspiration from the street and wearing Hunter wellies must be the epitome of the life of a trend – from the street to runway and back to the street again.