Hedi Slimane was born in Paris to a Tunisian father, an accountant, and Italian mother, a dressmaker. At the age of sixteen, he began making his own clothes. He went on to study art history at the École du Louvre. His experience before YSL includes Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Manolo Blahnik ,Azzedine Alaïa, and Helmut Lang, Dior.
In 2012 he was appointed the Creative Director of YSL. Yves Saint Laurent announced, under Slimane that it will be renamed Saint Laurent Paris, sparking a media furor and protests from critics and fashion bloggers; Slimane insists that this rebranding will merely return YSL to its 1966 identity.
His collection is known to mesmerize audiences with his blade-slim, blackened silhouettes: exquisitely tailored suits and jackets and trousers that, with their louche glamour, evoked both rocker decadence and flaneur-like refinement.