Hedi Slimane was born on July 5, 1968 to a Tunisian father and Italian mother. At the age of eleven, he discovered the skill of photography and learned about darkroom printing in black and white. When he was sixteen, without having any formal education in fashion, he began experimenting with it by creating his own outfits. He studied at École du Louvre and completed his internship at Jean-Jacques Picart as a consultant of fashion. In his early years, he explored Le Monde‘soffice, since he initially wanted to pursue a career in journalism.
In 1996, Slimane was appointed as the director of menswear line at Yves Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent attended the menswear runway show himself and he was highly content with the collection Slimane produced. Slimane presented the YSL Black Tie autumn and winter collection for 2000 and 2001 and through this range, he introduced the latest fashion of skinny silhouette. After this creation, he left the company and joined Christian Dior in the menswear division. Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the skinny silhouette so much that in a course of one year, he lost around 90 pounds and faithfully wore the design.
In 2001, he was head of the launch of the debut fragrance called Higher, for Dior Homme. Slimane designed the perfume’s packaging alone and then collaborated with Richard Avedon to produce creative campaigns for advertising.
A year later, Hedi became the first designer for menswear to be given the title of the International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The award was presented to Slimane by David Bowie, who himself is a Slimane fan.
Soon, Slimane began designing outfits for musicians, such as Jack White, The Kills, Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines and Mick Jagger. Another way in which he collaborated with musical artists was to commission new groups in Britain to create innovative soundtracks for Dior Homme runways.
During this time, Hedi maintained his photography interest and published many books, including Berlin, Stage, and London Birth of a Cult. In 2006, he launched The Diary, his blog consisting his photography. It features images of children and some of the most popular stars belonging to the music industry.
In 2011, Hedi published a four volumes book, Anthology of a Decade. The theme revolves around four cities, Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles and London. The book takes the reader on a journey of ten years when Slimane spent his time in the above mentioned places.
A year later, both Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior were searching for a creative director, and Slimane chose to work at Saint Laurent.
In an interview when Slimane was asked to describe his ambition, he said he never had one and everything that happened in his life was a chain reaction. For him, everyday is a new day and he tries to make it as interesting as possible.
Slimane was born as well as raised in Paris and this is the reason he likes being in cities rather than countryside. He grew up close to Buttes Chaumont. Moving on, although relatives from his mother’s side were tailors, they weren’t fashion designers. Designing is something that interested Slimane only in his house. His parents are not keen on the popularity their son gets, instead there concern revolves around how their son is doing and whether or not he is working hard to achieve his goals.