Though Phoebe Philo, who announced her departure from Céline in December, will take her final bow with her last collection in March, her successor has already been named. On Sunday morning, LVMH revealed that Hedi Slimane will officially join the French fashion house in February as Artistic, Creative and Image Director of Céline. Under his new role, the luxury brand has plans to launch menswear, couture and fragrances.
The hire finally puts rumors of Slimane possibly joining Chanel to rest, which were refuted by the house itself in a statement last year. His return to LVMH comes after almost two years since his exit from (and messy lawsuit with) from Kering-owned Saint Laurent in April 2016.
"I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group and taking the reins of our Céline Maison. He is one of the most talented designers of our time," said Bernard Arnault, who previously worked with Slimane during his tenure at Dior Homme in the early 2000s, in an official statement. "His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this Maison. Hedi will oversee and develop all creativity for both women's and men's fashion, but also for leather goods, accessories and fragrances. He will leverage his global vision and unique aesthetic virtuosity in further building an iconic French Maison."
Adds Slimane: "I am delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline. I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers."
According to WWD, Slimane will continue to be based in Los Angeles and his first women's and men's collection for Céline will debut in September at Paris Fashion Week.