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Rumours fly that Hedi Slimane is leaving Saint Laurent

The brand responds to a rumour that its creative director is quitting

Yesterday a rumour began circulating the internet: that Hedi Slimane – Saint Laurent’s creative director – was leaving the label after nearly three and a half years. The brand however has vehemently denied the rumour saying, “Following the recent departures there has been many rumours and this is another false speculation.” Phew. 

But where did this rumour start? Well, yesterday The Daily Front Row reported that “Paris is abuzz with Hedi Slimane’s rumored departure from Saint Laurent over the holiday due to creative differences” (though failed to provide any evidence for this). “Calls to the Saint Laurent U.S. PR team today were met with ‘No comment,’” it continued. An hour after posting a tweet (“Breaking! Did Hedi Slimane leave Saint Laurent?”), the publication posted another tweet saying that the brand had reached out to them to confirm that the designer has not left the label. Conclusion: this rumour is completely unfounded. 

However, as Saint Laurent acknowledged, there have been many departures of late – Alexander Wang from Balenciaga, Raf Simons from Christian Dior, Alber Elbaz from Lanvin and more recently Jonathan Saunders from his eponymous label. 

But Slimane’s departure from Saint Laurent seems unlikely. Last year it was reported that the brand’s revenues have doubled during his tenure – thanks, no doubt, to the aesthetic he has injected into the label which is marked by its reference to musical and youth subcultures. And he’s achieved more than commercial success. Among other things, he’s reintroduced couture to the house.

Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s former partner, has a very positive opinion of what the designer is doing. “But Hedi is someone who has a huge talent – that is indisputable,” he said in an interview with Suzy Menkes last year. “He has a real vision. You have to accept that, with its qualities and faults. That is what I think. I like him very much, I like Hedi a lot – a lot.”

Hedi Slimane will unveil his AW16 menswear collection for Saint Laurent at Paris Fashion Week on January 24.