What We Can Expect From Hedi Slimane’s First Menswear Collection for Celine

Paris and the global men’s market are gearing up for Hedi Slimane’s Celine Homme debut on Jan. 20. But what should we expect?

Let’s break it down. The women’s show, which took place in September was the designer’s first for the brand. While it was on the women’s ready-to-wear fashion week calendar, it was actually coed, with the twist being that all the “men’s” looks were unisex (another first, as Celine has always been a women’s label). So with menswear already revealed, what’s left?

Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s fashion director Bruce Pask believes that any revelations will be about the mechanics of the show. “We saw snippets of this collection in the first outing for women so that’s not a mystery but it’s more about the vision,” he told FN. “Hedi’s shows are always a spectacle. The musical score will certainly be interesting and I’m sure there will be an art installation, too.”

After taking in Slimane’s pre-fall collection for Celine, Pask says he has a good idea of what to expect: “It will be distinctly Hedi Slimane clothing, something that has become very signature. Pre-fall had that very rock aesthetic he does so well: rich vintage-inspired shapes with a nostalgia for that era. And there are sure to be some very exciting shoes.”

And while there’s no denying that Slimane has garnered a cultlike following, there’s also a hunger in the industry for something new.  

“Judging by the few pieces we saw in the first collection, it looks like we can expect a very classical Hedi show,” said Thom Scherdel, menswear buyer for Browns. “He seems married to his own aesthetic, so it would be nice to see him draw inspiration from somewhere else.” 

As for whether sportswear will come into play, Mr Porter buying director Fiona Firth reckons its influence might be felt in footwear, if anything. “A key sneaker will most likely be a part of his first men’s collection,” she said, going on to say she’s looking forward to seeing ankle boots in suede and leather. Elsewhere though, she continued, “I’m expecting to see more of what Hedi does best, keeping to his signature style and dark, slim aesthetic.”

In the grand scheme of things, it’s menswear that will have a profound effect on the market as a whole.

“The men’s market is driving the woman’s,” observed Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Uomo, citing Slimane’s unisex direction at Celine as a key factor in the growth of the womenswear market. “The influence of men’s in women’s is much stronger than that of women’s in men’s.”

Take sneakers, for example. “The sneaker concept started from men,” Napoleone continued.” It wasn’t Billie Jean King’s sneakers [that became an icon], it was Stan Smith’s.”

Click through to view Hedi Slimane’s women’s spring ’19 collection for Celine.

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