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Parisian born designer Hedi Slimane is known for radically reshaping the silhouette of men’s fashion. Karl Lagerfeld famously lost 90lbs just to cut the cloth. After experimenting with photography in his teens, Hedi studied History of Art at the Ecole du Louvre and in 1996 was appointed menswear director of Yves Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent himself sat front row at Hedi’s debut show for the brand. In 2000 Hedi left YSL and became creative director of Dior Homme. It was during this time that Hedi’s interest in new musicians began and he picked up a camera again, famously following then unknown rock star Pete Doherty around and publishing London Birth of a Cult, documenting the trajectory of The Libertines rock ‘n’ roller. In The Morning by Razorlight was composed especially for his autumn/winter 2006 show and Hedi was credited as the man behind the evolution of the whole male archetype of the early noughties. Hedi’s online photographic blog, ‘Diary’, launched in 2006, still documents his musical muses today, among them Sky Ferreira and models like Lily McMenamy and Matt Hitt. In 2006 Hedi did not renew his contract at Dior and spent the next five years pursuing photography, including a cover for i-D’s The Whatever the Weather Issue. That same year the fashion world was rife with rumours that Hedi would be returning to one or the other of his former employers, both of whom needed a new creative director. In March 2012 Hedi was officially announced creative director of YSL. He relocated the design studio from Paris to LA and rebranded the label Saint Laurent. Hedi’s collections since have been controversial for some, but for i-D signify the glory and excitement of a renegade master. Hedi has brought youth culture and teen spirit back into the brand, casting Saskia de Brauw in his first menswear campaign and sending boy-band members down his spring/summer 13 runway. Of his spring/summer 14 show, Tim Blanks noted “It’s easier to see the YSL in Saint Laurent” as Hedi sent out lip print party dresses, trenches and rock chick army jackets. Hedi has photographed and directed all of his campaigns for Saint Laurent as well as shooting Reuben Ramacher for the cover of i-D’s The Q+A Issue in true black ‘n’ white, rock ‘n’ roll Hedi style.


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