After a game-changing four-year stint at Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane is officially leaving the brand.
The news of the creative and image director's departure has been confirmed in a statement today. "What Yves Saint Laurent has achieved over the past four years represents a unique chapter in the history of the house," explained François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, the luxury group that owns Saint Laurent. "I am very grateful to Hedi Slimane, and the whole Yves Saint Laurent team, for having set the path that the house has successfully embraced, and which will grant longevity to this legendary brand."
While rumors were rife of Slimane's impending exit, it's a shock given his meteoric rise at the brand's helm since his arrival in March 2012. The creative director reinvented the house with his rock-and-roll persuasion—a shake-up prefigured by his decision to re-name the brand from Yves Saint Laurent to the snappier Saint Laurent—and popularized it with a new generation of fashion fans.
"Under the creative helm of Hedi Slimane, the House has enjoyed a holistic reform that has brought back its utmost modernity and fashion authority, while keeping alive and respecting the original vision of Mr. Saint Laurent," Kering acknowleged in a press release. "This repositioning has granted a new life and a new story to one of the most important French Couture Houses, with undisputed success."
Slimane's next move is yet to revealed, though Saint Laurent plans to announce his successor soon. Watch this space.