By  on February 25, 2002

PARIS -- Get ready female fashion fans -- Hedi Slimane is in your future.

The French designer, who has built a cult following among women with his slimmer-than-slim men's wear collections at Dior Homme, has confirmed in an interview with WWD that he harbors ambitions to do a full-blown women's wear line.

"It's in my mind," Slimane said while discussing the opening of his first Dior Homme flagship, in Milan. "It wasn't before, but it's really clear now. Within my future, I can see that. I'm going to do that as part of my natural evolution."

The when's, where's and how's of a women's apparel launch remain unanswered questions -- and complicated ones, too. At present, Slimane is charged with building Dior's men's business and image. John Galliano is Dior's couturier and has been in charge of its women's image since 1997 and also still designs his signature women's collection. It could not be learned whether part of Slimane's deal with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is the financing of his own women's line.

As for Slimane, it is believed if he were to launch women's wear it would be under his own name. As for further particulars about the line, all Slimane will say is, "We'll see," suggesting his change of heart is more symbolic than concrete at the moment.

Pressed to describe what might be expected from a Slimane women's line, he replied: "Clearly, my thing is about tailoring whereas some people are about flou [the French term to describe garments with fluid construction]. I have some obsessions for a certain type of allure and that's not going to change tomorrow." Currently about 10 percent of the sales of Dior Homme are to women. Slimane characterized his existing women's following as "a very particular and narrow" clientele. Famous women who have worn his designs range from Madonna and Nicole Kidman to Tilda Swinton and the model Linda Evangelista, who recently sported Dior Homme at the Visionaire party during New York Fashion Week.

"It's a woman who really wants a man's suit," he said. "It's a statement and it's for strong-minded women."

Meanwhile, some retailers are champing at the bit for the day when Slimane finally does commit himself to women's wear.

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