These are a few of the questions and rumors that have swirled around Slimane over the past few months. In two articles out today to promote a four-volume box set of his photography called Anthology of a Decade out this month--one in Menswear and one in the UK's Guardian--Slimane sheds a bit of light on the rumors.
"I'm going to design again, but I come back when it's the right project, so I keep my passion for it intact," Slimane told the Guardian. Slimane left Dior Homme in 2007 to pursue fine arts like photography and sculpture, but not before leaving an indelible mark on menswear--the skinny androgynous rocker look--that's still pervasive on the streets today.
The Guardian interviewed Slimane just days prior to Galliano's arrest, after which, Slimane's name was floated as a replacement at Dior. When asked about designing for luxury houses, Slimane replied:
"I really love to design but when it's a big luxury house there is so much things around the design. Like the global branding, like the window displays. Oh, it's so much. You just have to be happy doing it. If you're not, you're really miserable. And I have no intention to be miserable. I miss the fabrics and I miss the atelier. But if I really miss it that much, I would have started again already."
It's a response that would seem to rule Slimane out for the YSL job, too. If he does design again, he tells Menswear it would have to be luxury fashion over anything fast. "I only like luxury fashion," he says. "You have to decide where you stand. I like well-made, authentic clothes, well-crafted tailoring. I also like the dream and fantasy of luxury, the exception and rarity of it. I have no interest at all in fast retail. It is ambiguous."
And though he loves California and LA--the city he's settled in since pursuing photography--he hates what celebrity--LA's currency--does to fashion:
"Nothing looks worse than a dress or a suit on a red carpet. It is an ongoing tragedy of cheap fashion on cheap celebrities, followed by ubercheap comments. I only like designers’ clothes on models. Good models have an inner understanding of the clothes and design."
UPDATE: We received a statement from Hedi Slimane's PR regarding the Guardian story, which they feel is misleading and took Slimane's quotes out of context. Vogue UK subsequently published a story off of the Guardian piece, blowing the story even more out of proportion, opening with the following sentence: "Hedi Slimane will not be John Galliano's successor at Christian Dior, the designer himself insists, for fear it would make him 'miserable'."
"The article of the Guardian is obviously, and certainly on purpose misleading. The interview was clearly done one day before the event in Paris, and not after. It is therefore unrelated, and sadly presomptuous [sic]. The Guardian wanted obviously to associate, juxtapose the two, after Dior's events, postponing the article. Hedi Slimane obviously never talked about, or even implied Christian Dior, or any other luxury house in particular. Hedi was, before any event, only commenting on global branding, and he does always answer the same thing: Global branding is key to design in luxury brands. You need to be prepared for it."