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Michael D’Addario of The Lemon Twigs Hedi Slimane
Michael D’Addario of The Lemon Twigsvia

Hedi Slimane reveals his next creative endeavour

The former Saint Laurent designer announces that he is turning to photography full time

It’s funny how some of the most talented designers end up quitting fashion – either temporarily or permanently. Take Helmut Lang who left the brand he started to focus on his art, or Martin Margiela who did likewise, with his associates citing his “desire to enjoy his life outside the insistent glare of the fashion world”. Another example is, of course, Hedi Slimane.

Slimane has had one of the greatest influences on contemporary menswear, designing trend-shifting collections for Dior Homme (where he was creative director from 2000 to 2007) and later Saint Laurent (where he was from 2012 to 2016). There, he pioneered a cool music and youth culture-inspired look and a razor-thin silhouette that continues to be popular to this day. 

Throughout his career as a designer, though, Slimane has had something of a creative mistress: photography. In addition to shooting all of his campaigns for Saint Laurent, he’s maintained a photographic blog Hedi Slimane Diary and staged several exhibitions of his work. Today, he has revealed that he is turning to photography full time. 

“It has always been a natural and defining part of my life, a personal, intimate process,” he says in a rare interview with The New York Times. “I am deeply attached to each of the characters I depict, and to my photography archive.”

He’s revealed the first of a series of portfolios he photographed for V Magazine, titled a “New York Diary” which, shot in Brooklyn, features portraits of the city’s cult music heroes – from Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore to Long Island rockers The Lemon Twigs.

While Slimane has decided to focus all of his energies on photography, he’s not quitting fashion forever like Lang and Margiela. “Naturally, photography will always be there, however I never intended to stop designing,” he says. “I never said I will stop designing in the future.”

Nor, however, does he plan on starting a label under his own name – something that he was rumoured to do following his departure from Saint Laurent. “My own name was always off limits, entirely dedicated to photography,” he says. “It is a necessity for me, and reasonable, to create clear, legitimate and protective creative territories and boundaries.

Read the full interview here and see his New York Diary portfolio for V Magazine here.