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This Changes Everything: Hedi Slimane Is Celine’s New Creative Director

The former creative head honcho at Saint Laurent swoops in after Phoebe Philo. We weigh in on what Celine By Slimane could possibly look like.
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I think it is safe to say that literally no one – or, at best, very, very few people – saw this coming. Given how rapidly the rumour mill in fashion spins, you would think that someone would have thrown this into the swirl of speculations. As the world wonders where on earth Celine’s former creative director Phoebe Philo is headed to next, we overlooked the one person who was free to take on the role she vacated: the one Hedi Slimane.

Did we see this coming? Not really. But, now that I think about it, it makes so much sense. After all, Slimane already had ties with LVMH – which owns Celine – previously with his stint at Dior Homme, widely considered to be a groundbreaking one that redefined menswear as we know it.

Furthermore, while opinions about Slimane’s Saint Laurent remain divided to this day, the financial success he brought to the Parisian house is undeniable. According to Business of Fashion, Philo essentially tripled Celine’s earnings during her reign. With Slimane, who already has a track record of pushing the figures up, up and up, perhaps the parent company is hoping for even better.

Now, the biggest question that hangs is how Slimane’s Celine would look like. Saint Laurent was always a conduit for his fascination with music culture. The Saint Laurent men and women that walked his stage-like runways always looked devil-may-care, as though they knew something supremely cool that you would never be privy to. It certainly is very different from that “Celine look” that we’re used to.

And that is what makes it so exciting. Thrilling.

Slimane is probably going to switch gears. Historically, it is what he did with Saint Laurent, though it should be noted he didn’t ditch heritage completely. He revived the couture house, he retained defining silhouettes like the Le Smoking Tuxedo and he certainly captured youth culture that Monsier Saint Laurent championed way back when.

So, while Celine by Slimane will likely look significantly different from Celine by Philo, perhaps pockets of Celine’s history will make guest appearances, similar to what Maria Grazia Chiuri is doing at Dior. (Since we’re on the topic, the embroidered black bee that has been appearing across her collections since her first can be traced back to Slimane himself.) Minimalism, which was Philo’s ammo at Celine, is not Slimane’s thing, but we’re not taking nod-wink tributes out of the picture just yet. Just how much of that distinctive Slimane rock-n-roll attitude is going to appear, though? That is anyone’s guess at this point.

Slimane will present his first Celine collection in September, while Philo will present her last in March. Needless to say, we think Celine has the title of “Most Anticipated Show” locked in for the two seasons to come. Someone hand us a time machine already.

What To Read Next: Farewell, Phoebe Philo: A Look At Her Most Memorable Celine Runway Looks, I Can’t Stop Thinking About Phoebe Philo’s Celine and Exclusive: Revisiting Hedi Slimane’s Penultimate Saint Laurent Collection | Cover Image: Lionel Hahn via Billboard.com

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