Hedi Slimane Sues Kering Over Non-Compete Clause

PARIS — Kering said Wednesday it is facing a legal challenge from Hedi Slimane, who recently wrapped a four-year tenure as creative and image director at Yves Saint Laurent.

In a statement issued in response to a Reuters report, Kering said the procedure, logged with the commercial court in Paris, concerns non-competition obligations that are among standard clauses for high-profile executive and creative roles in fashion.

It is typical for such clauses to restrict a designer or chief executive officer from working for competitors for up to a year or more.

“Kering lifted this clause at the end of Hedi Slimane’s contract, thus freeing Hedi Slimane from this potential constraint,” the company said. “Hedi Slimane is requesting that this clause be applied still, along with the effective payment of the financial compensation that goes with it.”

Slimane could not immediately be reached for comment.

In April, Kering confirmed that Anthony Vaccarello would succeed Slimane at the design helm, thrusting an unassuming, low-key designer into one of the hottest seats in fashion.

The 36-year-old Belgian designer is slated to show his first collection for Saint Laurent for the spring 2017 season.

Slimane’s legal challenge suggests he doesn’t have any immediate plans to sign on with another fashion brand.

Before joining YSL, he had spent several years concentrating on photography and art making in his post Dior Homme career.

In Wednesday’s statement, Kering noted the “disagreement does not alter the group’s recognition for Hedi Slimane’s contribution, who, together with the Yves Saint Laurent team, has reformed the maison.”

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