Happy Birthday Hedi Slimane

Hedi Slimane (pronounced ‘edi sli-man’) has hit another milestone today; except this one isn’t fashion related. The prince of Darkness is celebrating his 50th birthday and in correct style, we have found the most interesting facts you may not know about the creative director.

Took The Y Out Of YSL
After famously being installed as menswear director at YSL in 1996, Hedi Slimane was quickly promoted to Artistic Director a year later. In 2000, the designer left the French fashion house and accepted a role at the helm of Dior Homme. Slimane was reunited with YSL in 2012 and changed the name of the label to Saint Laurent Paris, removing Yves from the branding.

Transformation of Karl
On the brink of the millennium, Slimane’s new skinny silhouette designs inspired Karl Lagerfeld to lose a whopping 90lbs. "Until then, I had got along fine with my excess weight and I had no
health problems, or - which would be worse - emotional problems, but I suddenly wanted to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane, who used to work for Saint Laurent and now creates the Dior Homme collections. But these fashions, modelled by very, very slim boys, required me to lose at least six of my 16 stone.".

Return of The King
During his time with Dior, Slimane maintained his avid interest in photography and published several books. In 2006, he chose not to renew his contract with the French Maison and took 5 years out of fashion, devoting his time to his second love, photography. Slimane's online photographic blog, The Diary, launched in 2006 - featuring his pictures of unknown cool kids as well as some of the music world's biggest stars.

I Am A God
In 2013, Kanye West released his infamous album Yeezus. Praised by the many and hated by the few, one track stood out to us in particular; ‘I am a God’. Speculation followed that the track was written about Slimane with West later confirming the truth. After the designer told West he could only attend his show providing he didn’t attend others, the rapper told W magazine, “Cause it’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the number-one living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix. You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show.” It’s of no surprise, West didn’t attend the fashion show.

Inspired by Hate
Sadly, in a rare interview with Dirk Standen, we learnt some of the inspiration behind Slimane’s infamous silhouettes. Stemming from a childhood of bullying and homophobia, he was bullied for his thin structure and sexuality. “"Many in high school, or in my family, were attempting to make me feel I was half a man because I was lean," Slimane said. "I would turn to my music heroes, and this was comforting. They looked the same and I wanted to do everything to be like them, and not hide myself in baggy clothes to avoid negative comments."

Let’s Take This To Court
After paying Slimane less than €667,000 for his last year at YSL, a French court agreed that the Kering group owed the king of skinny as much as €9.3million after taxes for his last year of service. The relationship between the designer and fashion group ended in bad blood and we can only hope the designer doesn’t suffer the same fate at Céline.

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