Hedi Slimane Reveals His Secret L.A. Stories and Life After Saint Laurent

Hedi Slimane Reveals His Secret L.A. Stories and Life After Saint Laurent

"Time might put this period in perspective, reflect the authenticity and realness of this project, and the risks I took against all odds, one of them defending an idea of California."

"Time might put this period in perspective, reflect the authenticity and realness of this project, and the risks I took against all odds, one of them defending an idea of California."

Text: Christina Cacouris

Since departing Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane has slipped into inconspicuousness and back behind his camera, to continue with his first passion: photography. In a tell-all interview with Vogue Italia, the designer and photographer talks about his "secret society" of L.A., a tribe of musicians, artists, surfers and skaters he documented in a special portfolio for the magazine's August issue.

Slimane admits that photography was his first love, having begun the practice around age 11, dreaming that one day he might grow up to be a reporter for national French newspaper Le Monde. "I always thought this was clearly what I would do: document the world around me, be an archivist of my time, live in the moment."

Since relocating full time to Los Angeles, Slimane became closely acquainted with the music scene, which heavily influenced his work at Saint Laurent as he crafted campaigns around iconic LA musicians, brought a show to the Palladium, and made clothes rock stars dream of wearing. "Los Angeles is always evolving, and there are music communities that keep emerging all over the state," says Slimane. "It's like a secret society of some kind, not driven by any commercial end, or any desire to publicise what they do, quite on the contrary."

"I presume the juxtaposition of distinctive scenes, the sense of isolation of each creative pocket, is what makes California rather unique, compared to all other territories I have explored over the last two decades," he continues. "To document it, you need to become a part of it, and it can only happen over a long period of time."

Credits: PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARL LAGERFELD FOR V99

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