He turned the way things were done upside down. But he pushed too far, and they pushed him out. He spent years in the wilderness. They asked him to come back. This time, the rebellion was refined, polished, perfected. It made billions, not millions. The world applauded.
I’m not talking about Steve Jobs. Allow me to introduce you to the greatest creative genius you’ve probably never heard of: Hedi Slimane, the just-retired Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent and probably the closest thing the business world has to a Jobsian figure today. Who else has redefined not one but three great global brands – Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Homme in the 90s, Dior Homme in the 2000s (where he introduced the skinny-leg trouser), and Saint Laurent today — reinvigorated a stagnant industry, divided opinion, built a cult, and finally become something like a celebrity in his own right? And yet despite his high profile in the fashion industry, few outside the sector seem to even know who he is. Read more at Harvard Business Review.