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Hedi’s Fate & The Arnault Succession Effect

Hedi Slimane
I’m sure Bernard Arnault does have a soft spot for Hedi Slimane, who has made him a lot of money over their on-again, off-again, 20-plus year relationship. Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage
Lauren Sherman
April 25, 2024

On Tuesday, I started getting pings from the most insidery of industry insiders that Michael Rider, who designs the Polo women’s collection at Ralph Lauren, might move to Celine to replace Hedi Slimane, who might have another act ahead of him. Then, hours later, a story popped up on WWD speculating that Rider—who worked under Phoebe Philo at her Céline before heading to Polo—was at least being considered for the job. (Rider was also speculated to be in the running at the time Philo left, too. The gig went to Hedi instead, a coup for then-LVMH fashion group C.E.O. Sidney Toledano.)

My spies at Ralph Lauren ignored my queries, but it would be a shame for Ralph Lauren to lose Rider, who was originally hired by the great executive Valérie Hermann (she now runs a consumer private equity firm back in France). Rider has, by all accounts, done quite well at Ralph Lauren, and while that isn’t a company that talks about creative succession—ever—he must be in the back of somebody’s mind. Look, who knows what the future holds? Things change. Anything can happen. Insert your favorite hedging cliche here.