Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Saint Laurent Denies Slimane Departure

Hedi Slimane is not leaving Saint Laurent, the house has asserted. Rumours began this week that the label's creative director of three years departed late in 2015 due to "creative differences", but a spokesperson for the brand told us this morning: "Following the recent departures there has been many rumours and this is another false speculation."

Slimane's success at Saint Laurent - which he has overhauled since his arrival, altering not just the aesthetic and the name, but even relocating the design team to LA - has been well documented. Underperforming under former helmer Stefano Pilati, Saint Laurent has transformed under Slimane's governance - becoming one of controlling conglomerate Kering's most powerful brands.

Although he has gained an army of youthful fans, Slimane has not been without his detractors - with some critics complaining that the offering relies too much on vintage inspiration, has a fast-fashion feel at luxury prices, and hasn't moved on enough during his tenure.

The sales - which doubled in his first two years at the brand to almost $800 million annually in 2014 - may speak for themselves, but in a year that saw both Raf Simons and Alexander Wang depart major French houses despite positive performances by Dior and Balenciaga respectively, nothing in fashion can be taken for granted.

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