The former Saint Laurent designer announces that he is turning to photography full time.

Slimane has had one of the greatest influences on contemporary menswear, designing trend-shifting collections for Dior Homme (where he was creative director from 2000 to 2007) and later Saint Laurent (where he was from 2012 to 2016).

Throughout his career as a designer, though, Slimane has had something of a creative mistress: photography. In addition to shooting all of his campaigns for Saint Laurent, he’s maintained a photographic blog Hedi Slimane Diary and staged several exhibitions of his work. Over the weekend, he has revealed that he is turning to photography full time.

“It has always been a natural and defining part of my life, a personal, intimate process,” he says in a rare interview with The New York Times. “I am deeply attached to each of the characters I depict, and to my photography archive.”

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