The first thing Saint Laurent’s team did after Hedi Slimane officially left the brand was to clear out its Instagram posts — essentially erasing all evidence of Slimane’s work. In its place, they uploaded a photo of his successor, Anthony Vaccarello.
In response to this, Business of Fashion‘s Imran Amed pens a post wondering why the storied fashion house would pull off such a curious move. Perhaps to pave a new platform for its incoming creative director? Or to erase Slimane’s influence? Either way, we’re still waiting to see where Slimane is off to next…
So for now, the decision seems rather puzzling. To erase this defining chapter in Saint Laurent’s history is absurd on several levels. It reminds me of my visit to the Gucci Museo in Florence a few years ago, during the tenure of former creative director Frida Giannini. The museum, dedicated to the more than 90-year history of the Florentine fashion and leather goods house, basically skipped the defining era of Tom Ford, when the designer single-handedly returned Gucci to its former glory and created the anchor for what is now the Kering luxury goods group.
But it’s important to note that even though Tom Ford was left out of the Gucci Museo, Frida Giannini’s design template closely followed that of Mr Ford, something that some industry observers also expect of Vaccarello, especially given the huge commercial success of Saint Laurent under Slimane, not to mention his wholesale reinvention of the brand’s architecture.
In any case, perhaps what is more interesting is that the Instagram account “@hedislimane’, with a respectable 66,500 followers has not a single post — only a link to Slimane’s website which includes a complete list of the man’s oeuvre in fashion and beyond, from his first arrival at YSL in 1999 to his halcyon days at Dior Homme which seared him into the collective fashion consciousness to his stunning debut campaign for his return to Saint Laurent in July 2012.
Where Slimane goes next is perhaps the biggest question in fashion at the moment. Could it be Chanel? Or Dior? Or, more likely, the launch of his long-awaited eponymous label which, ostensibly, he would never leave. Or maybe he’s done with fashion once and for all.