Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hedi Slimane

Hedi Slimaneis a French Fashion Designer of Tunisian, Italian-Brazilian origins. He studied political sciences, and Art History at the Ecole du Louvre , and was also educated as a tailor. From 1992 to 1995 he worked for Jean Jacques Picart , notably on the centenary exhibition of Louis Vuitton 's "LV" monogramme label.

Pierre Bergè appointed him as Collections and art Director at the house of Yves Saint Laurent in 1997, and they relaunched YSL Rive Gauche Homme. He decided to leave the house in 1999, and was invited to create his own label within the Gucci Group. He was also invited to join the Prada Group to design for the Jil Sander label. Instead, he chose to work at Christian Dior , where he became the creative designer for men’s clothing, and designed the line of Dior Homme in 2000. In 2002, the Council of Fashion Designers of Amercia named him the International Designer of the Year in New York. In 2003, he was appointed creative director for Christian Dior men's fragrances, including Eau Noire, Cologne Blanche, Bois d'Argent, Dior homme, and Dior Homme Intense. He also created the first skincare lines for Dior, the "Dermo" system.

In July 2007, Slimane decided to leave the house of Dior. In an attempt to convince him to stay, Dior's parent company, LVMH offered to finance Slimane's own signature line. Negotiations lasted for six and a half months. Slimane rejected their offer in February of 2008. He stated on his website that he did not want to lose his creative freedom, sell his name, or give up the control of his own brand. He is expected to debut a line of his own which will include womenswear.

Slimane has scouted and recruited many models for his fashion shows from the streets of London, New York, and Berlin, who fit his aesthetic. Isaac Ferry, the son of rocker Bryan Ferry made his catwalk debut at one of Slimane's shows when he was 16 years old, among many young rock stars. Some of his discoveries have gone on to success as models.

Slimane has a background in furniture design, fragrance, store design, and photography. He is perhaps best known for the slim silhouette of his menswear. In addition to his work as a fashion designer, he has been involved in various other projects, including as editor-in-chief of "Libèration" and designing album covers for artists such as Phoenix and Daft Punk. In 2004, he published "Stage", a collection of his Rock musician photography . He has published several other books of his photography and has contributed writing and photography to many fashion magazines including "Vanity Fair".

In April of 2008, Slimane left for US, joined his friend Gus Van Sant, and started a new project, "Young American", which was partly shown at the FOAM Museum in July of 2007. He had two other shows: at Arndt and Partners Gallery in Berlin -- titled "Sweet Bird of Youth" (a group show, with contributions from emerging artists in the New York art scene), and a solo show at Ellipse Foundation for contemporary art. He also collaborated on the exhibition "Perfect Stranger", at Gallery Almine Rech, in Paris, February 2008, another show at Koyanagi Gallery in Tokyo, and one at the Musac Contemporary Art Museum in Spain in May of 2008.

Slimane has many connections to the British indie-rock scene, notably his close friendship with controversial Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty, and Amy Winehouse. In 2004 German documentary-makers Chrisitina Trebbi and Gero Van Boehm made a documentary about Slimane, entitled "Hedi Slimane, ma vie" ("Hedi Slimane, my life"). Slimane interest for indie rock started a whole movement in fashion. His silhouette and attitude have been adopted widely on a street level. He also started a few British bands, among them Eight Legs , and These New Puritans.

The cover and promotional art for "The Fame Monster" by Lady Gaga was photographed by Slimane in 2009. Hedi Slimane spends his time between homes in Paris and Los Angeles. Slimane was misquoted in interviews as saying that he survives on a delicately balanced diet and prefers food that he doesn't have to chew much. The mistake came from a mistranslation: "baby food" means "comfort food" in French. He does not drink, smoke or do drugs.

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