Hedi Slimane Sues Kering Group

Well we guess this break up went from bad to worse.

After Hedi Slimane and Kering-owned Saint Laurent amicably (or so it seemed) parted ways in April, although met with shock, the departure was for the most part drama-free. The parting came as a shock given Slimane’s commercial success. There was also no specific reason cited as to why he left.

But this seemingly calmness was not to remain as the designers relationship with his former employer has hit a wall. Almost three months later, Slimane and Kering have entered into legal proceedings because “Slimane wants the company to reinstate the non-compete clause that it lifted at the time of his departure”. With Reuters being the first to report the lawsuit, and Kering provided Fashionista with the following statement:

The procedure regards the usual non-competition obligations that accompanied Hedi Slimane’s collaboration with the Yves Saint Laurent Maison. Kering lifted this clause at the end of Hedi Slimane’s contract, thus freeing Hedi Slimane from this potential constraint. Hedi Slimane is requesting that this clause be applied still, along with the effective payment of the financial compensation that goes with it.

Now down to the technicalities. Thanks to Google, a non-compete agreement “is a term used in contract law under which one party (usually an employee) agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession or trade in competition against another party (usually the employer).  So in Slimane’s case, this would mean him joining another luxury brand as creative director — for a specified duration of time.

It is however nice to know that Kering still thinks highly of Slimane as evidenced in the following statement: “This 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, during his 4-year tenure as Creative and Image Director of Saint Laurent.”

We can only assume that Slimane has a reason for all this (maybe the fact that he does not plan on joining a competing company and wants his non-compete & money back) but we won’t know for sure until this story further unfolds.  All’s well apparently doesn’t end well.