Hedi Slimane (born July 5, 1968 in Paris) is a French fashion designer. He studied Art History at the École 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.
After working as Collections Director for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme in 1997, and subsequently as Artistic Director, he became the chief designer for men’s clothing, Dior Homme, for Christian Dior in 2000. In 2002, the Council of Fashion Designers of America named him the International Designer of the Year in New York.
In July 2007, Hedi Slimane decided to quit the house of Dior. In order to convince him to stay, LVMH proposed him to finance his own signature line. Negotiations lasted for 6 months. Slimane called them off in February. He made a statement on his website to explain his choice. Slimane did not want to lose his creative freedom, sell his name, and loose the management of his own brand. He left for US, joined his friend Gus Van Sant, and started a new project, "Young American", which was partly shown at FOAM museum in July 2007. He opened 2 others shows, at Arndt and Partners gallery, in Berlin, SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH (a groupshow, with contribution form the emrging Ny art scene), and a solo show at Ellipse Foundation for contemporary art. Hedi Slimane is currently working on a few upcoming exhibitions: in November at galery Almine Rech, in Paris, January 2008, in Tokyo, at Koyanagi gallery, and May 2008 at Musac Contemporary art museum in Spain.
He is expected to debut a line of his own which will include womenswear.
Having a background in furniture design, fragrance, store design, and photography, Slimane is noted 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 becoming editor-in-chief of Libération and designing album covers for artists such as Phoenix . In 2004, he published Stage, a collection of his Rock photography. Slimane has published several other books of his photography and has contributed writing and photography to many style and fashion magazines including Vanity Fair. Slimane has many connections to the British indie-rock scene, notably his close friendship with controversial Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty. In 2004 German documentary-makers Christina Trebbi and Gero Von Boehm made a documentary about Slimane, entitled Hedi Slimane, ma vie ("Hedi Slimane, my life").
Slimane is widely known to use very young and thin models for his fashion shows, and claims to have recruited young models in London and Berlin who fit within his criteria. Isaac Ferry, the son of rocker Bryan Ferry, made his catwalk debut at one of Slimane's shows when he was 16 years old.
Slimane was misquoted in many 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 from a mistranslation: "baby food", means "comfort food" in French. He does not drink, smoke or do drugs.
Slimane's silhouettes are based on classic menswear but with a modern twist. He is known for preferring black (sometimes with hints of bright color); for narrow lines, low-cut and sheer shirts and thin-waisted suits; and for a certain femininity that appeals to men and women alike. After women such as actress Cate Blanchett and entertainer Madonna requested versions of his men's suits, Slimane began selling certain items for women as well, not modified at all from the men's designs except being available in smaller sizes. Slimane has a reputation for high-quality tailoring, attention to detail, and minimalist designs, his pieces have frequently been termed "architectural" and "slightly subversive." He also is interested in the idea of matching, whether a tuxedo and a swimsuit or a pair of sunglasses and a ring. Although his designs appeal to youthful men— and his very young runway models emphasize this slant—Slimane has commented that his clothes are much more about attitude the wearer's age.