Saint Laurent Designer Hedi Slimane Credits Adolescent Bullying & Adversity With His Success
If you have ever felt that diversity and rebellion motivated your success, you're not alone. The reclusive yet immensely talented Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane recently revealed his career motivations during a chat with Yahoo! Style. The creative's comments touch on personal and professional topics in a manner that offers true insight into the Saint Laurent brand, as well as a glimpse into the historical motivations behind Slimane's rapid rise to notoriety and fame. As it so happens, detractors of Slimane simply spurred his sartorial victory.
Orchestrated by Dirk Standen, Slimane's interview is a searing look at exactly what is needed to create a couture collection, fashion a ready-to-wear-line, and uphold the name of a well-respected design house. However, the talk also touches on exactly what prepared Slimane for such a hefty role. Slimane's slim physique encouraged an adolescent obsession with avant-garde silhouettes such as skinny jeans and additionally lent the designer a set of very particular role models: the rock and roll gods of the era who later provided inspiration for Slimane's decidedly edgy wares. "I would turn to my music heroes, and this was comforting," Slimane recalls. "They looked the same and I wanted to do everything to be like them, and not hide myself in baggy clothes to avoid negative comments. David Bowie, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Mick Jones, Paul Weller, I felt connected to their allure, aesthetic and style."
Moreover, Slimane divulges that persecution from his peers during his youth and barbs from critics concerned about the fate of Saint Laurent over the course of his career have merely lent the designer a clearer directive. "...Criticism and polemic somehow allowed me to simply go straight to the point, take the highway," Slimane recounts to Yahoo! Style. "If you have a lot against you, you have nothing to lose, and you win your freedom. It is an open road to focus and pursue your goal with no strings attached. No more insecurity and need to please, no risk of stalling, no compromise".
If those who questioned Slimane's sanity and creative control of the Saint Laurent brand are in any way responsible for the beautiful collections produced in recent years, critics should continue to pile on the dissent. Slimane, meanwhile, shows no signs of slowing his sartorial home run.