Words by Nicole Thomsen
January 22nd, 2018
On Sunday it was announced that Hedi Slimane, formerly of Saint Laurent, was to replace the revered Phoebe Philo as Creative Director of Céline later this year. After announcing that she will exit the house following the label’s Autumn/Winter showcase in March this year, rumours have since been rife over who was next in line to helm Céline.
Despite his accolades, the appointment comes with mixed reviews and much surprise. Slimane’s grungy, rock chick aesthetic which he perpetuated during his short tenure at Saint Laurent is a stark contrast to the refined Céline woman which Philo has been celebrated for. During her 10 year term, Philo transformed the French label into one of the most coveted designer brands of our generation, created lucrative best-selling designs such as the Luggage bag and the Trio and more than tripled the brand’s annual sales. She defined what it meant to be a Céline woman through her minimalist designs and unassuming contemporary aesthetic, creating a cult-like following.
But for all that we love, this era of Céline is undoubtedly coming to an end. Slimane is not afraid to rock the boat and redefine a label under his terms; during his three-year stint at Saint Laurent, he controversially renamed the ready-to-wear line which had previously been known as Yves Saint Laurent and pointed the house in a younger, millennial-driven direction which divided opinion. However, despite the critics, Slimane brings with him new prospects for Céline. He will expand the label into menswear, fragrance and couture and with that, a new energy – and a new Céline woman.
Slimane’s Céline debut will be at Paris Fashion Week in September.
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