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Saint Laurent Confirms Hedi Slimane’s Exit

Photo: Victor Virgle/Getty Images

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Saint Laurent and creative director Hedi Slimane are officially parting ways. It's been a foregone conclusion since rumors popped up in January that Slimane wouldn't renew his contract. But the brand and its parent company, luxury group Kering, issued a joint statement on Thursday confirming Slimane's departure.

"What Yves Saint Laurent has achieved over the past four years represents a unique chapter in the history of the house," Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault said in a statement. "I am very grateful to Hedi Slimane, and the whole Yves Saint Laurent team, for having set the path that the house has successfully embraced, and which will grant longevity to this legendary brand."

Slimane rejoined the brand in 2012, and embarked upon a controversial overhaul that included dropping the Yves in Yves Saint Laurent and moving the company's design headquarters to Los Angeles. His wildly expensive West Coast grunge-inspired look sold like crazy, even if critics were never impressed, and his debut bag, the Sac du Jour, achieved the kind of ubiquitous success every brand dreams of. He cast women like Jane Birkin and Joni Mitchell in his moody campaigns, and most recently championed daytime tiaras.

The sixth creative director of the brand, Slimane followed in the footsteps of legendary designers like Tom Ford and Alber Elbaz, and did so with the blessing of the founder's partner, Pierre Berge. There's speculation that Anthony Vaccarello will be next, taking over (Yves?) Saint Laurent this May, but his appointment has been rumored since January.