Nay to Yay: Hedi Slimane’s Celine Journey

Phoebe Philo’s long and enduring term at Celine has been incredible – that much is undeniable. Under her guidance, the Parisian house became a global force in fashion; churning out collection after collection characterized by the clean classic silhouettes and sophisticated colour palette which Celine came to be known.

After Hedi Slimane’s debut show September 2017, Philophiles took to the internet to express their longing for the old. Even a little Instagram mourning page was formed – @OldCeline. Some would compare the consolation period as nothing less that dealing with a heart break. How could a design house so steeped in a specific aesthetic take a 180 degree turn? Social media watchdog, Diet Prada had its own thoughts on the matter when they reminded people to always be cynical of Celine’s about-turn transformation. Harsh.


As time passed, Hedi Slimane’s clear vision for the label has now found fan fair in Scarlett Johansson, Lady Gaga and Dakota Johnson among several other leading ladies. We decode the designer’s final destination from lukewarm to most-loved.

#1 Tasked with a vibe

When an established designer assumes the role of creative director of a house, it can be said it is their job to reinvent the house by bringing their personal touch to the label. Slimane’s first collection of Celine has been nothing but true to his personal signature – one that took years to perfect at Saint Laurent (where he held the reins from 2012 to 2016). His rock and roll glam aesthetic has given Celine a new face: younger, bolder, more free-spirited (and without a pretentious accent on the e). While Philo’s Celine was somewhat sober, Slimane’s Celine is for the adventurous twin – the rule breaker, the alter-ego.

#2 But patch it with the past

However, for fall/winter 2019, the designer du jour took a few pointers from old Celine. Think: pleated wool skirts and solid coats and capes. It’s the hardest thing really, to take two very different worlds and find a link. But the latest collection is a lesson in infusing night-time glamour with Celine’s oh-so-loved 70’s bougie lady. High waisted straight cut denims, tailored blazers, sensible dresses with a side of sequins – this was one for the OG archives but made new in 2019.

#3 And let it pass the test of time

As the debate still stands strong – one thing is clear. Hedi Slimane is a not a man of passing phase. He sticks to the classics, takes his signature and doesn’t get carried away by trends. And with that ladies and gentlemen, the new Celine is here, and it’s here to stay.