The rise of Hedi Slimane seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of cultural force, the multimedia arbiter of cool. He was connected, interested in everything, analogue and digital all at the same time. No wonder we enlisted him as an inaugural Guest Editor in 2007.
It was shortly after his departure from Dior Homme, where he had reinvented the male wardrobe. He had also turned his hand to furniture design and graphics, but photography, a passion since he was 11, was the most personal part of his polymathic mix.
'I always thought I could use different mediums to express the same idea,’ he told us. ‘Right now my main concern is photography. But if you look at my photographs over the last decade, and then look at my style and fashion designs, it is quite obvious I'm following the same ideas and principles.’
Slimane’s contribution to the issue was a set of 20 60 x 40cm posters using his own photography and typography. He also sat down with the German artist Thomas Demand to talk about the split with Dior, redefining masculinity and the Bavarian concept of beauty in imperfection (really!).
Slimane continued to take pictures, and became an in-demand curator. In 2011 he curated a group show of LA artists, including Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari, while in the same year, his photographs of their city were exhibited at MOCA. In 2012 he was appointed creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, and left the post last year.
Slimane, seen in a self-portrait (top), called his 20 pull-out posters ‘fragments and signs, indirect narrative textures’. Subjects ranged from a Berlin club ceiling to the hair fittings of his last show for Dior