French luxury fashion house LVMH rocked the fashion world this morning with the announcement that French designer Hedi Slimane would assume the role of head creative of Céline, starting in February 2018. He will direct all Céline collections, extending offerings to include men’s fashion, couture and fragrances.
According to WWD, Céline is believed to take in 1 billion euros in revenues annually, a figure LVMH hopes to double under Slimane’s leadership. Part of the effort will include opening freestanding Céline men’s boutiques in 2019.
“I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group and taking the reins of our Céline Maison,” said LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault in a press statement. “He is one of the most talented designers of our time. I have been a great admirer of his work since we collaborated on Dior Homme, which he launched to global critical acclaim in the 2000s. His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this Maison. Hedi will oversee and develop all creativity for both women’s and men’s fashion, but also for leather goods, accessories and fragrances. He will leverage his global vision and unique aesthetic virtuosity in further building an iconic French Maison.”
In the same statement, Hedi Slimane said: “I am delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline. I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers.”
Slimane has been a member of the LVMH house before as the head of menswear at Dior from 2001-2007. He made waves for pushing forward the skinny suit silhouette, which was famously worn by Brad Pitt at his wedding to Jennifer Aniston in 2002.
From 2012-2016, he headed up design at Kering’s Yves Saint Laurent, which he renamed Saint Laurent, moving the base of creative operations for the label from Paris to Los Angeles.
Several members of the fashion community weighed in on the announcement, responding with enthusiasm to the news. “So happy to hear that the incredibly talented Hedi Slimane will be replacing Phoebe Philo at Céline,” wrote British Vogue director on social media.
“I am enchanted, what a great choice. It will be great,” said Karl Lagerfeld, who has long been a Slimane booster.