For the past few weeks, we have been thinking a lot about the allure of Los Angeles, so when a fashion icon, Hedi Slimane, talks about this magical city, we listen!
Slimane is the former creative director of Saint Laurent, and he made quite a name for himself designing the edgy pieces the brand is known for. He has always been a creative person and, currently, he is focussing on his photography.
Recently, in an interview with fashion author, Luke Leitch, Slimane mentioned that the fashion industry has a “condescending” attitude towards L.A. Naturally, we had to dig deeper, because anything can be taken out of context. Luckily, the Fashion Law had reproduced part of the interview. Here is exactly what Slimane said:
LL: You moved to LA in 2007. With the exception of the Oscars, that city was barely on the radar of the fashion industry back then. Now it’s a completely different story — French and American houses are regular visitors to show events at the city and the aesthetic of LA’s style vernacular (in a great part thanks to you) has become globally recognisable and aspired to. Do you have any feelings about that?
HS: I started to come to Los Angeles in ’97. I was escaping Paris in February and July to start designing all my collections, and did this for all the Dior Homme collections, until 2007, permanently moving to California. Before I had a home, I used to stay for months at the Chateau Marmont which typically was a really different place then, very private, filled with young actors or directors living there all year around. No social media at the time — it was private and had the authentic feel and dusty glamour of old Hollywood. Los Angeles changed a lot over the last few years.
For an obscure reason, there was such an uproar when I decided to design from Los Angeles. In 2011, there was clearly a condescending and abrasive attitude in the industry toward Los Angeles and California. I was nonetheless convinced of the growing influence California would have in popular culture, music and art, and for obvious reasons even more so with the rise of social medias. Why not design from here and define an aesthetic around California? LA felt like the most vibrant and relevant observatory at the time.