Celine is demonstrating that it means business in menswear after it was revealed that LVMH-owned luxury house, now under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, will stage a dedicated menswear show in January.
Slimane showed his inaugural womenswear collection at Paris Fashion Week in September and dropped in a few menswear looks, and it is currently negotiating with Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode for a slot for Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
It’s not known whether Slimane will show a purely men’s collection or go for a degree of co-ed, but either way it’s a demonstration that the house is serious about capturing spend in both the men’s and women’s luxury markets. Slimane made his name in menswear, putting Dior Homme on the map with his signature skinny silhouette, before moving to Saint Laurent where he would often show menswear looks in his womenswear shows.
When Slimane was appointed to Celine at the start of the year, taking over from British designer Phobe Philo, he was given full creative control of the house and charged with expanding it into menswear, couture and fragrances. “His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this Maison,” said LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault at the time, who later said he believed Celine (Slimane dropped the accent above the e as part of his rebrand) had the potential to become a €2bn-€3bn brand within five years.
His first collection for Celine caused some consternation among critics and fans former creative director Phoebe Philo for turning its back on Philo’s easy to wear, understated luxe. Instead Slimane was uncompromising in pushing the vision he began at Saint Laurent for a super-slim silhouette and plenty of micro mini-dresses. However the outerwear and tailoring was strong and when buyers saw the collection in the showroom post show, its commercial appeal became more evident. While Slimane’s aesthetic is not for everyone, his ability to create wildly successful luxury brands cannot be disputed.