Hedi Slimane returns to Yves Saint Laurent, assuming full creative responsibility for the brand


The rumours are true – Hedi Slimane, a former designer for Dior Homme is to take over from Stefano Pilati as creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, assuming total responsibility for the brand image and all its collections. It is Slimane's second stint at the legendary fashion house, having worked there in the late 1990s as head of the menswear collection. In parallel with this new position, he will continue his career as a photographer.

Slimane, whose father is Tunisian and mother Italian, is returning to the fashion industry after several years away. He has been based in Los Angeles during an extended sabbatical from the fashion world, working mainly in photography. A lot of his work is in black and white, and much of it features the rock milieu.

He is still only 43, having made his mark at Christian Dior between 2000 and 2007, where he is generally acknowledged to have revolutionised menswear. During his time there, he made Dior Homme each season's must-see show.

A rock fan and artist, Slimane drove an androgynous look of skinny suits and tight low trousers that found its imitators not just in the fashion world but spread into the rock world that so fascinates him.

Stars Mick Jagger and Pete Doherty have gone on stage in Dior Homme, while designer Jean-Paul Gaultier once said he could not do better than Slimane. Even Karl Lagerfeld shed some 45kg to be able to slide into a pencil-thin Slimane suit.

The look Slimane developed was much copied by mass-market designers across the world and even influenced the design of women's clothes. At the height of his fame, some young followers even adopted Slimane's distinctive Tintin-like quiff.

His first collection for Yves Saint Laurent, a resort collection, is expected to be presented in June.