Céline is getting a new designer at the helm, and a slew of new products. “Hedi Slimane is to lead Céline into men’s wear [sic], couture and fragrance as its new artistic, creative and image director,” reports WWD, adding that he will officially join the LVMH house on February 1 and show a collection of menswear as early as September.
We reported in April that rumors were swirling about Slimane joining the team at Chanel and being groomed to take over for Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel released a statement denying the speculation. At that time, we reported, “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… 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.” Well, it looks like the question of where the youth-centric designs of Slimane is headed has been answered.
Lagerfeld himself called Slimane “a great choice,” according to WWD, and Daniella Vitale, president and CEO of Barneys New York added, “the introduction of men’s wear at Céline is an incredible opportunity at Barney’s. Genius move on the part of Céline.” For his part, Slimane said in a statement that he is “delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline. I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers.”
Slimane will of course be replacing Phoebe Philo, who has guided Céline, to unprecedented success for the brand, for 10 years. Per WWD, “It is understood Philo will not work for another label in the near future and the fall 2018 collection, to be unveiled in March, will be the last collection crafted by her.”