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Hedi Slimane Taking the Reins at Céline

Hedi Slimane Taking the Reins at Céline


The appointment also signifies a potential major shift in direction for Céline, where the former designer, Phoebe Philo, 45, became a hero to fashionable women for her emphasis on clothes for working women like herself. Mr. Slimane’s history suggests the change may be partly a play on the part of LVMH for that great intangible, “cool,” and the younger, often millennial customers who desire it.

At Saint Laurent, Mr. Slimane became famous for collections seemingly aimed at the young and the fretless, including the musicians, models and hangers-on he met in Los Angeles, where he made his home and where he relocated the Saint Laurent studio. The result delighted customers — Mr. Slimane’s Saint Laurent sold well — but frustrated some critics with its unwavering commitment to a narrowly defined rock look. Mr. Slimane left the company in 2016.

LVMH is understood to be putting its full support behind Mr. Slimane. Indeed, his return is part of an ambitious plan to expand Céline, which now has an annual turnover of slightly less than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) — midsized by LVMH brand standards — into a Dior-size brand.

In October, the fashion and leather goods division of LVMH — the largest contributor of earnings and the sector of which Céline is a part — reported a 13 percent increase in revenues, to €3.9 billion, in the third quarter of 2017 alone.

Like his Saint Laurent studio, Mr. Slimane’s Céline studio will be based in Los Angeles, with a prototype studio and an atelier in Paris. (The London studio established by Ms. Philo, who lives in London, will close.)

His first show, which will combine women’s wear and men’s wear, will be held in September.



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