The rumor mill surrounding Hedi Slimane's next move is heating up. According to WWD, the designer was recently spotted at the Mayhoola for Investments offices in Doha, Qatar. Currently, Mayhoola controls Valentino, has a stake in Anya Hindmarch and is reportedly eyeing Balmain — all fashion houses with successful designers already in place, which makes it unlikely that Mayhoola is courting Slimane to handle an existing brand.
The only reasonable conclusion to jump to, of course, is that Slimane is looking for a backer for his own namesake line. As Anthony Vaccarello prepares to step into the lead role at Saint Laurent and Francisco Costa leaves a rather Raf Simons-shaped hole at Calvin Klein, many have speculated that Slimane could take over for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel in this round of designer musical chairs. But considering that Slimane had plans for his own label in the early aughts (he was in talks with Gucci Group for one before taking the menswear job at Dior), another high-profile legacy brand might not be in his future after all.
In the meantime, Slimane tributes continue to pop up — Vogue Paris being the latest to dedicate an entire spread to his work for Saint Laurent in its May issue, which is curious considering his departure was only officially announced April 1 — and Kering's Q1 sales numbers from 2016 show that he left the brand with double digit retail growth, proving his work is both editorially and commercially popular. For an investor like Mayhoola looking to grow its luxury portfolio, that's good news.
Slimane is also going bicoastal. In an excerpt from his Document Journal cover interview printed at Business of Fashion, he shares that he'll be moving into a new place in New York shortly. "I used to spend so much time there in the late '80s and early '90s, which was such a great period in New York," Slimane says. "I haven't been spending enough time to really document it for decades, so maybe I'll do more things in New York."
"More things" like designing his own fashion line? New York is the best place for new talent to launch, after all.