hedi slimane is suing saint laurent's parent company

While the designer's motivations for the lawsuit are probably not what you’d expect, they do give a considerable clue about his future plans.

by Wendy Syfret
23 June 2016, 3:19am

Four months after departing his position as creative director at Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane is looking to revisit things — but in a slightly less glamorous way. Earlier this week it was announced that the designer has entered into legal proceedings with Kering, the parent company of Saint Laurent, over a non-compete clause. These clauses usually mean that when someone ends a contract with an employer they're unable to work with competitors for a period of time. For Hedi it's assumed that he agreed that post Saint Laurent he wouldn't take up as the creative director of another luxury brand.

Usually in disputes like this, it's about someone trying to get out of one of these contracts so they access future work opportunities. But this time, things are going down a little differently — Hedi has already been released from his non-competition restrictions, now he's trying to have them reinstated.

With this in mind, many have assumed that when he left Saint Laurent the original agreement would have included a non-compete clause, but as a former employee he would continue to receive some payment or financial compensation. At the time of Hedi's departure Kering lifted this giving him free reign to take any jobs he liked, but in the process he would forfeit the financial support.

By asking to reinstate his non-compete clause Heidi is looking to trade that additional level of employment freedom for the undisclosed salary.

Despite the legal quagmire, Kering made it clear in a statement to Fashionista that there is no bad blood here, it's only business: "This disagreement does not alter the Group's recognition for Hedi Slimane's contribution, who, together with the Yves Saint Laurent team, has reformed the Maison, during his 4-year tenure as Creative and Image Director of Saint Laurent."

Additionally, the move is actually a pretty interesting window into the designer's future plans. While rumours about him taking over from Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel have followed him for months, this indicates that he's looking to move away from working with large fashion houses. It begs the question, what could one of the world's most celebrated clothing designers be planning that didn't involve an existing brand? Oh we don't know, maybe starting his own? 


Text Wendy Syfret
Artwork Dani Tull
[The Livin' Loud Issue, No. 311, Pre-Spring 2011]

Karl Lagerfeld
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