Even before Karl Lagerfeld not-so-subtly sported a glam-rock sequin jacket by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent to take his bow at Chanel’s cruise show in Havana, Cuba, speculation had been rampant. Those rumors, now infinitely more believable, had Slimane designing a men’s line for Chanel — the brand’s first — before easing into the top spot upon Lagerfeld’s retirement. All with the Kaiser’s blessing, naturally.
It’s been suggested that Slimane has already begun work, busily researching Chanel’s archive. And, in an interview in the current Vogue Hommes International, Lagerfeld seems to wax prophetic on the topic. “He shook up the brand,” he says, regarding Slimane’s unorthodox leadership of Saint Laurent. “His shows were perhaps extreme but the clothes were very good. It needed a change and he was clever enough to understand that. A few journalists might have been confused, but the sales took off. This is proof that press criticism has no importance.”
“I really admire him,” Lagerfeld goes on to say. “And he’s a lovely boy in private. There are few people I love so much. It’s the clothes Hedi used to create at Dior that gave me the will to lose weight. If something interests me I’m capable of anything.”
Karl Lagerfeld & Hedi Slimane in 2005