Saint Laurent shifts show to LA, amid talk Slimane may quit as creative director

Switch from Paris for men’s collection meant as ‘tribute to the strong music scene’ in Los Angeles, says fashion house of city where Hedi Slimane lives; it won’t comment on speculation about Frenchman’s future

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 January, 2016, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 January, 2016, 1:18pm

French fashion house Saint Laurent will show its new men’s collection in Los Angeles next month rather than Paris, as rumours swirl over the future of its artistic director Hedi Slimane.

Slimane, who lives in Los Angeles and who created the rock-star skinny jeans look, may be about to leave the label he has helped revitalise, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

Sources told the trade daily that the 47-year-old Frenchman, who has headed the house founded by Yves Saint Laurent since 2012, has “so far failed to reach an agreement on the renewal of his contract”.

Profits have skyrocketed in the three years Slimane has been in charge, with revenue doubling as he gave the haute couture brand a street style edge.

Contacted by Agence France-Presse, both Saint Laurent and its parent group Kering said they would “not comment on rumours”.

Women’s Wear Daily said Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello - currently at Versus Versace - headed the list of likely successors.

Saint Laurent said its autumn-winter men’s collection and part of its women’s range would be shown at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on February 10, five days ahead of the Grammy awards, one of the biggest nights in the musical calendar.

Slimane’s highly tailored rock-star look - often teaming leather trousers with tuxedos - has been much copied, and made him one of the go-to designers for celebrities such as Kate Moss to Lenny Kravitz.

But others have accused the press-shy designer of dragging down Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy of fine tailoring by his embrace of youth subcultures.

The autumn-winter collection was initially to have been shown as usual during men’s fashion week in Paris at the end of January, although the second part of the women’s collection will be unveiled there during Fashion Week in March.

Saint Laurent said in a statement that shifting the shows to Los Angeles was meant as a “tribute to the strong music scene in Los Angeles”.

“For almost a decade, Hedi Slimane has thoroughly documented, supported and championed the emerging California music scene,” it said.

Slimane - the son of Tunisian and Italian immigrants - made his name with his skinny jeans look at Saint Laurent before moving to Dior Homme in 2007.

Having returned to head Saint Laurent, he controversially moved the label’s studio to Los Angeles, where he has lived since 2008.

“Creating a high fashion design studio in Los Angeles was novel in 2012,” the Saint Laurent statement added, “but the city has started to attract more and more high fashion projects.”